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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

Last comment 1 hour 58 min ago
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Student-Led Projects in Early Elementary

Last comment 3 weeks 2 days ago
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Assessment in Making

Last comment 2 weeks 2 days ago
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Resources for Getting Started With Project-Based Learning

Mon, 07/11/2016 - 10:13
10 7,951 48,087 views

Need Help Making PBL a Reality in Schools

Thu, 07/28/2016 - 11:28
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Finding an Authentic Goal for Your PBL Classroom

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 13:16
3 538 5,356 views

Browse

Girl adding blue food coloring to her volcano project
blog

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 5,978 25,188 views
blog

PBL Pilot: Navigating Group Work

Fifth grade teachers use their PBL pilot program to teach the leadership and collaboration skills that future employers are likely to expect of their students.

1 844 4,996 views
blog

Social Justice: A Whole-School Approach

Read about a social justice-based school that addresses larger issues as a learning community, builds curriculum around service learning, and regularly involves families.

2 360 4,788 views
A photo of 3 high school girls working in the makerspace.
blog

How Maker Culture Builds Stronger Learning Communities

An innovative youth leadership program called Public Workshop has been partnering with high school students to remake their environment.

1,854 5,205 views
A photo of a group of students looking at the outdoor display.
blog

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

With the help of ceramics and QR codes, a student research project leaves the building for all to enjoy outside on the school grounds.

7 624 3,539 views
An illustration of a giant lightbulb being suspended on a crane.
blog

PBL: From Civic Engagement to Student Reflection

Students in one PBL class look outward to examine how the legislative branch of government works, and then turn inward to reflect on their learning.

2 266 4,788 views
A photo of a high school male student using survey equipment.
blog

The PBL Coordinator and Hands-On Academic Support

PBL schools benefit from a PBL coordinator to locate and organize resources, invite guest speakers, and support students in getting the most out of their projects.

125 1,041 views

Pages

Establishing Real-World Connections in Projects (Keys to PBL Series Part 1)
video

Establishing Real-World Connections in Projects (Keys to PBL Series Part 1)

Students are more engaged when learning relates directly to the world they live in. See how to extend your projects beyond the classroom walls.

9 362 24,356 views
blog

Authentic Assessment in Action

Music teacher Mark Wilbert continues Sammamish High School's blog series about the seven key elements for integrating PBL with an account of how an authentic assessment project increased student buy-in.

6 673 24,356 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 1,550 24,148 views
article

Project-Based Learning Research: Annotated Bibliography

Dig deeper into the specific articles, studies, and reports included in our project-based learning research review.

2 68 23,939 views
photo of three young women working on a project together
blog

Learning by Doing: A Teacher Transitions Into PBL

For a successful PBL unit, set clear goals, over plan, make students accountable, give concrete deadlines, share rubrics in advance, and reflect on your methods.

21 18,460 23,731 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 3,013 23,731 views
Building Rigorous Projects That Are Core to Learning (Keys to PBL Series Part 2)
video

Building Rigorous Projects That Are Core to Learning (Keys to PBL Series Part 2)

Project-based learning doesn't mean leaving standards behind. Follow these tips to plan projects that challenge your students and align with core learning goals.

3 86 23,315 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 80,353 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...

3,470 108,664 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...

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