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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

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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.

1 2,813 views

Browse

blog

PBL Pilot: What Will the Future Bring?

Two fifth grade teachers reflect on their first year with a PBL curriculum, self-evaluating their outcomes and formulating an action plan for next year.

1,966 7,190 views
blog

Teachable Moments and Academic Rigor: A Mini-Unit

Teachers present a PBL unit to help students understand, through the violent, tragic events in Ferguson and Baltimore, how public perception affects law enforcement and justice.

3,738 7,456 views
blog

10-Minute Plays: Performing Arts in the History Classroom

By distilling research, writing, and acting into ten-minute plays for an authentic audience, students turn a U.S. history unit into a personally relevant experience.

5 412 2,954 views
blog

A Quiver of Teaching Strategies (Not Just One Silver Bullet)

To develop a class of risk takers, administrators need to encourage faculty to try new teaching strategies so they model for their students risk taking, flexibility, and resilience when failure happens.

2 1,256 4,220 views
blog

Teaching Empathy Through Design Thinking

While empathy is the first step in the design thinking process, keep your students focused on this necessary element as they move through definition, ideation, prototyping, and testing.

4 2,374 8,300 views
blog

School-as-Studio Immerses Students in Creative Problem Solving

Launched in 2010 by a trio of bold thinkers from MIT, NuVu Studio is a secondary school that boasts recent student projects focused on everything from futuristic fashion to biotechnology.

1 2,406 3,095 views
blog

PBL Pilot: Formative Assessment and PBL

Two fifth grade teachers explain how the driving question and the need to know list are a naturally fit for their PBL pilot program.

7 3,426 13,357 views

Pages

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.

4 344 302,887 views
blog

Twenty Ideas for Engaging Projects

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

17 742 263,056 views
article

Ten Steps to Better Student Engagement

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

81 1,411 220,409 views
An Introduction to Project-Based Learning
video

An Introduction to Project-Based Learning

In this hands-on approach to teaching, students create schoolwork that demonstrates core subject knowledge.

25 775 144,547 views
blog

Six Strategies for Differentiated Instruction in Project-Based Learning

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

8 577 124,279 views
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 2,088 119,212 views
article

Why Teach with Project-Based Learning?: Providing Students With a Well-Rounded Classroom Experience

Project-based learning helps students apply what they learn to real-life experiences and provides an all-around enriching education.

95 323 100,634 views

Pages

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.

15 219 62,351 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...

2,890 158,762 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 5,909 views