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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

Teaching to Fight Injustice

Last comment 2 days 12 hours ago
14 1 394 views

3 Ways to Plan for Diverse Learners: What Teachers Do

Last comment 1 day 54 min ago
32 61 19,386 views

PBL Pilot: Rolling It Out to Parents and Students

Last comment 1 week 2 days ago
5 40 2,351 views

Zombie-Based Learning -- "Braaaaaaains!"

Last comment 13 hours 4 min ago
19 98 5,284 views

3 Ways to Plan for Diverse Learners: What Teachers Do

Last comment 1 day 54 min ago
32 61 19,386 views

A Day in the Life: 5 Tips for the Daily NaNoWriMo Agenda

Last comment 1 day 9 hours ago
2 0 18 views

Browse

Sparking Civic Engagement by Building in Public Spaces
video

Sparking Civic Engagement by Building in Public Spaces

Sixteen-year-old Alexa gains hands-on experience and leadership skills by collaborating on a play space for kids through Philadelphia's Public Workshop, which promotes community engagement and innovation.

1 2,309 views
blog

Making the Most of Mentors for Students

Blogger Suzie Boss provides pointers for teachers on how best to utilize adult mentors who help their students with projects.

1,994 views
blog

Are School Librarians Part of Your PBL Dream Team?

If librarians know about upcoming projects, they can help to spark curiosity even before project launch day.

2 5,135 views
Rigorous Project-Based Learning Transforms AP Courses
video

Rigorous Project-Based Learning Transforms AP Courses

Through a project called Knowledge in Action, researchers at the University of Washington have been exploring whether project-based learning can help high school students with diverse learning styles understand content more deeply in advanced...

1 1 9,326 views
article

Knowledge in Action Research: Next Steps

The Knowledge in Action project is underway with plans to refine curricula, improve learning tools, develop formative assessments, understand challenges to implementation, and expand into additional subject areas.

6 1,679 views
article

Knowledge in Action Research: Results to Date

According to the Knowledge in Action research project, students taking a project-based learning (PBL) course do as well or better on the AP test, and in some cases significantly better, when compared to control classes.

1 1 3,463 views
article

Knowledge in Action Research: Project-Based Learning Course Design

The Knowledge in Action team used two key design principles when designing the AP Government coursework: 1) Projects are the central element, or spine, of the course, and 2) learning cycles (dubbed "looping" by the participating teachers), enable...

1 6,392 views

Pages

article

Project-Based Learning: What Experts Say

Educators and researchers share their views on why project-based learning is an important learning strategy for classrooms.

1 16,033 views
article

Entrepreneurial Education: The Successful Investor Project

An economics educator teaches his students to be smart money managers and businesspeople.

3 15,823 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.

5 6 15,718 views
article

Going Green: Designing Eco-Friendly Schools

In Chicago's urban sprawl, an environmentally friendly school blooms.

9 15,718 views
blog

New Guide Offers Assessment Tips for the Classroom

Edutopia's newest guide offers ten tips for assessing project-based learning.

7 15,404 views
blog

Critical Thinking Pathways

To teach critical thinking, consider applying six definitions of that discipline to the practices of authentic inquiry, PBL, and integrated studies.

7 19 15,194 views
blog

PBL and STEAM Education: A Natural Fit

Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller looks at the enhanced possibilities of using 21st century skills to engage students with real-world challenges through combining the pedagogical model of PBL with the rich content area of STEAM.

18 3 15,194 views

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