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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.

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

What the Heck Is Project-Based Learning?

Last comment 1 week 6 days ago
19 1,603 23,527 views

Starting a Pilot Program in Our School

Last comment 1 week 2 days ago
6 2 334 views

Great Displays in the Great Outdoors: Bringing Student Work to Life

Last comment 5 days 2 hours ago
6 446 1,898 views

Project-Based Learning as a Context for Arts Integration

Tue, 04/09/2013 - 13:24
13 500 12,491 views

5 PBL Best Practices for Redefining the Teacher's Role

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 06:00
153 1,141 views

Browse

blog

PBL Meets WWII: A History Lesson to Remember

Guest blogger Heather Calabro, teacher and founding member of Mid-Pacific Institute's eXploratory Program, details a PBL history project about WWII that her students took to heart - and took much farther than she expected.

3 205 4,732 views
blog

Curious Homework: An Inquiry Project for Students and Parents

Blogger Suzie Boss presents real examples of how to continue to engage student curiosity in school after the homework projects are over.

8 997 19,040 views
blog

5 Tips for Flipping Your PBL Classroom

Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller considers how the project-based learning and flipped-classroom models can successfully intersect, offering five tips for engaging students in the project while moving aspects of it outside the classroom walls.

23 706 13,825 views
blog

How to Build Students' Creative Confidence

Edutopia blogger Suzie Boss proposes teachers carve out a Genius Hour, providing students a regular time each week to tackle projects that reflect their personal interests and passions.

2 1,034 8,974 views
blog

Common Core in Action: Teaching Critical Thinking and Questioning

Edutopia blogger Heather Wolpert-Gawron outlines how project-based learning, with a focus on the common core, and iPads engaged her students in critical thinking and questioning.

6 1,553 24,982 views
blog

Project-Based Learning vs. Problem-Based Learning vs. X-BL

In the first of two parts, guest blogger John Larmer of the Buck Institute for Education clears up any confusion on the difference between project-based learning, problem-based learning, and whatever-else-based learning.

18 1,976 61,793 views
blog

The Out of Eden Walk: An Experiential Learning Journey from the Virtual to the Real

Guest blogger Homa Tavangar, Education Advisor to the Pulitzer Center, presents journalist Paul Salopek's 21,000-mile Out of Eden Walk as a goldmine of experiential learning for connected students of every age.

1 206 3,519 views

Pages

article

Resources for Assessment in Project-Based Learning

Looking for tools and strategies for effective assessment in project-based learning? To support you, we've assembled this guide to helpful resources from Edutopia and beyond.

1,585 18,555 views
blog

The Role of PBL in Making the Shift to Common Core

Guest blogger Sara Hallermann, Curriculum Development Manager at Buck Institute for Education, looks through the lens of PBL to show how six of the Common Core's big ideas are compatible with this activity-centered approach.

9 693 18,555 views
Anatomy of a Project: "Soil Superheroes"
video

Anatomy of a Project: "Soil Superheroes"

Project Learning Assignment: Seventh graders work with community experts to advance their understanding of bacteria in the environment -- and then share their findings with the community at large.

20 18,312 views
article

Speed 101: Motorcycle Racing as Real-World Physics Lab

Isaac Newton hops aboard a two-wheeled teaching tool.

18 54 18,191 views
blog

Project-Based Learning Through a Maker's Lens

The messy, hands-on Maker classroom is perfect for a PBL unit when the teacher is willing to collaborate, tinker, fix, break, and rebuild alongside students.

14 2,154 17,948 views
article

A Real Learning Curve: Catapults Demonstrate the Quadratic Equation

Algebra students use their math skills to control the arc of launched objects.

13 1 17,706 views
article

Integrated Studies Research Review: Evidence-Based Practices and Programs

Evidence points to seven key approaches to integrating curricula that have been shown to be effective.

3 544 17,584 views

Pages

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...

3,424 151,266 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 6,916 views
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.

15 150 60,579 views