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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Project-Based Learning

Project-based learning is a dynamic classroom approach in which students actively explore real-world problems and challenges and acquire a deeper knowledge.

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Overview

What is Project-Based Learning?

Project-based learning is a dynamic approach to teaching in which students explore real-world problems and challenges. With this type of active and engaged learning, students are inspired to obtain a deeper knowledge of the subjects they're studying. Watch an introduction video.

History

What's the History of PBL?

Confucius and Aristotle were early proponents of learning by doing. Socrates modeled how to learn through questioning, inquiry, and critical thinking -- all strategies that remain very relevant in today's PBL classrooms. Learn more.

Experts

What the Experts Say

"One of the major advantages of project work is that it makes school more like real life." --Sylvia Chard, University of Alberta See what other experts say.

Research

Research: Studies on PBL Success

Did you know PBL students remember learned content for longer periods of time? Did you know PBL students view themselves as better prepared in problem solving and perform better in tasks that emphasize understanding and application of knowledge? Dig deeper.

Discuss

Resources for Getting Started With Project-Based Learning

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9 7,233 44,621 views

Student-Led Projects in Early Elementary

Last comment 2 weeks 2 days ago
8 1,116 views

Assessment in Making

Last comment 1 week 3 days ago
2 88 4,400 views

Finding an Authentic Goal for Your PBL Classroom

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 13:16
1 2,839 views

Resources for Getting Started With Project-Based Learning

Mon, 07/11/2016 - 10:13
9 7,233 44,621 views

Big Thinkers on Education

Thu, 01/28/2010 - 10:31
3 1,038 45,034 views

Resources

We Love PBL Pinterest Board

Visit a curated collection of resources on project-based learning -- including tips and tricks for newbies and veterans -- on Edutopia's pinboard on Pinterest.

2 4,551 views
Screenshot of PBL guide

High Tech High’s Teacher’s Guide to PBL

Download this teacher’s guide to project-based learning to explore great sample projects and review PBL basics.

1 2,689 views

Browse

A young boy standing outside in the grass has a robotic right hand, and he's smiling, holding a blue and red plastic horseshoe.
blog

Finding an Authentic Goal for Your PBL Classroom

Invite students in on the decision-making process when selecting an authentic goal for your class PBL unit and you will have increased their ownership of the unit from the get-go.

1 2,839 views
Photo of students cooking together
article

Resources for Getting Started With Project-Based Learning

Explore Edutopia's curated compilation of online resources for understanding and beginning to implement project-based learning.

9 7,233 44,621 views
A closeup of a young girl with pigtails in a yellow long sleeve shirt, black pants, and glasses kneeling down, connecting white tubes together, creating a table with a young boy who is squatting.
blog

Assessment in Making

As we integrate maker education into the curriculum, we should determine whether it raises test scores, how it aligns with standards, and how we can assess making.

2 88 4,400 views
A fifth-grade girl is kneeling on a basketball court, holding a young pre-school girl with special needs. They're both looking at each other and smiling.
blog

Project Au-Some: Building Empathy and Collaboration

Through partnering with a preschool special ed class, fifth-grade students learned and taught their community about developmental disabilities, enhancing their own empathy in the process.

2,333 4,535 views
11 boys standing in front of a two-story house they have been renovating
blog

Constructive Thinking and the Perfect Fixer-Upper

High school students can take a class that, through a joint effort by their school district and community, lets them redesign and remodel a house.

605 1,991 views
A bicycle wheel and balloon make up part of a Rube Goldberg machine.
blog

5-Minute Film Festival: Learning with Rube Goldberg Machines

Building a Rube Goldberg machine is a great way for kids to explore engineering and build teamwork skills. We've gathered a collection of videos to inspire and encourage learning from these elaborate and comical machines.

39 1,072 views
two high school aged students working with a teacher around a computer
article

Resources for Building Community Partnerships

Learn how schools can benefit from the support and expertise of local businesses, organizations, and individuals, and discover strategies for fostering successful business and community partnerships.

3 393 12,808 views

Pages

blog

Twenty Ideas for Engaging Projects

Blogger Suzie Boss shares 20 ideas for getting engaging projects going in your classroom.

19 795 405,101 views
article

Core Strategies for Innovation and Reform in Learning

See an overview of Edutopia's core strategies, including project-based learning, social-emotional learning, comprehensive assessment, technology integration, integrated studies and teacher development.

6 285 260,289 views
article

Ten Steps to Better Student Engagement

Project-learning teaching strategies can also improve your everyday classroom experience.

82 868 238,598 views
blog

3 Ways to Plan for Diverse Learners: What Teachers Do

Teachers aiming to differentiate learning in their classroom can focus on content, process, and product in giving students opportunities to grow and shine as individuals.

57 7,859 200,381 views
An young girl with rainbow-knitted headphones is sitting at a table with her female teacher. They're both looking at a long, thin sheet of paper, and the young girl is holding the tip of the pencil against the paper, pointing at something.
blog

6 Strategies for Differentiated Instruction in Project-Based Learning

Blogger Andrew Miller offers six simple, effective approaches to differentiated instruction in project-based learning.

19 6,815 192,945 views
blog

Designing Science Inquiry: Claim + Evidence + Reasoning = Explanation

Edutopia blogger Eric Brunsell breaks scientific inquiry down into the basic CER model and offers suggestions for introducing it to students.

4 190 143,985 views
Three girls smiling behind a laptop
article

A Step-by-Step Guide to the Best Projects

Discover a project-based learning model that motivates students to pursue knowledge and drives academic achievement.

21 2,132 143,779 views

Pages

Girls testing wing strength using plywood
Article

Project-Based Learning Professional Development Guide

An overview of the Edutopia professional development guide for teaching how to use project-based learning in the classroom.

15 225 80,772 views

Classroom Guide: Top Ten Tips for Assessing Project-Based Learning

This guide will inspire and expand your thinking about effective assessment for project-based learning. Tips are organized to follow the arc of a project: planning, launch into active learning, and then a culminating presentation. Reflection is the final...

3,470 108,660 views
Article

Project Learning: Model Schools with Solutions

Project learning encourages students to explore real-world challenges while developing cross-curriculum skills in small collaborative groups. Edutopia has visited many schools that have implemented project-based learning programs -- here are some of the best...

1 2 2,275 views
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