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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

Browse

blog

How to Find a Home for Service-Learning Projects

Blogger Suzie Boss highlights one high school example of what quality service-learning looks like in practice.

1 226 2,109 views
blog

They Do Call It a "Play," Don't They?

Guest blogger Raleigh Werberger, a high school history and humanities teacher, shares a lesson plan for incorporating classical Greek drama into a PBL unit and folding kinesthetic learning into a study of history and language.

3 187 2,901 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 1,158 18,581 views
blog

For Earth Day and Beyond: Focus on Environmental Action Projects

Edutopia Suzie Boss shares exciting projects to teach students about Earth Day and how to care for the environment.

3 702 6,461 views
blog

Students Put Global Skills to Work

Blogger Suzie Boss highlights how high school students from 26 U.S. states, 16 cities from across China, plus a smattering of other locations come together to tackle global issues.

1 202 923 views
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In China, Students Come Face-to-Face with Global Issues

Edutopia blogger Suzie Boss describes how high school students from the U.S. and China work together to design sustainable solutions for global challenges.

2 189 659 views
blog

"Mom, What is Project Management?"

Guest blogger Chris Hare, project manager and parent, uses a book report assignment to demonstrate how project management is already in place in the classroom, and how easy it would be to fine-tune this practice.

8 494 6,329 views

Pages

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5 PBL Best Practices for Redefining the Teacher's Role

PBL changes a teacher's traditional role through framing the learning, helping students develop ideas, consulting as they revise, and encouraging feedback, reflection, and authentic presentations.

5 441 19,108 views
article

Resources and Downloads for College and Career Readiness

Educators from MC2 STEM High School in Cleveland, Ohio, have provided these resources and tools for integrated project-based learning, real-world experiences, and other strategies to prepare students for college and beyond.

802 19,108 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.

3 547 18,977 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 1,458 18,581 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 1,158 18,581 views
article

Comics Make for Colorful Learning

Teachers have begun to accept comic books as a tool for teaching literacy through group projects.

26 152 18,581 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.

7 829 18,186 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...

2,890 154,977 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 6,592 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.

15 155 61,543 views