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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.

Browse

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.

238 2,011 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.

736 5,472 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...

1 527 10,056 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 3 1,788 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 36 3,576 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...

55 6,592 views
article

Knowledge in Action Research Helping to Make the Case for Rigorous Project-Based Learning

This research project by the University of Washington in collaboration with The George Lucas Educational Foundation is studying the impact on student learning of a PBL approach to Advanced Placement courses.

1 370 10,168 views

Pages

Linda Darling-Hammond on Creating a Collaborative Classroom
video

The Collaborative Classroom: An Interview with Linda Darling-Hammond

The Stanford University education professor says social and emotional learning is a crucial part of teaching the whole child.

7 85 15,978 views
article

Entrepreneurial Education: The Successful Investor Project

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

17 15,978 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 2,296 15,866 views
blog

Bringing Authenticity to the Classroom

Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller examines a few of the ways to bring authenticity into your PBL classroom.

22 3,327 15,420 views
blog

New Guide Offers Assessment Tips for the Classroom

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

7 134 14,861 views
blog

How Project-Based Learning Builds 21st-Century Skills

Blogger Suzie Boss outlines how PBL and 21st-century skills go hand-in-hand.

5 1,074 14,749 views
article

Going Green: Designing Eco-Friendly Schools

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

9 26 14,526 views

Pages

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.

27 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...

3,431 148,050 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 7,710 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.

15 211 60,784 views