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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

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PBL: What Does It Take for a Project to Be "Authentic"?

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Zombie-Based Learning -- "Braaaaaaains!"

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Browse

blog

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.

2 189 676 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.

8 495 6,088 views
article

Project-Based Learning and the Common Core: Resource Roundup

Explore a curated compilation of online resources for aligning project-based learning with the Common Core State Standards.

242 11,222 views
blog

Sammamish Year 3: Teaching, Leadership, and School Change

A year after introducing us to the schoolwide PBL curriculum at Sammamish High, teacher leader Adrienne Curtis Dickinson reviews how their seven key elements have played out in course design, professional development, and student learning.

4 100 4,194 views
High School Teachers Meet the Challenges of PBL Implementation
video

High School Teachers Meet the Challenges of PBL Implementation

Teachers at Sammamish High in Washington share their difficulties and triumphs as their school moves from traditional delivery of instruction to schoolwide problem-based learning.

42 3,923 views
blog

Focus on Audience for Better PBL Results

Edutopia blogger and PBL expert Suzie Boss describes how connecting students with a real audience often leads to deeper learning.

5 581 7,305 views
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.

3 209 5,817 views

Pages

blog

Twenty Tips for Managing Project-Based Learning

In honor of Edutopia's 20th anniversary, blogger Andrew Miller provides twenty tips on how to manage PBL. Enjoy and please add your own!

3 664 18,252 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 3,321 18,117 views
article

Speed 101: Motorcycle Racing as Real-World Physics Lab

Isaac Newton hops aboard a two-wheeled teaching tool.

18 1 17,171 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 16,900 views
blog

Financial Literacy for Elementary Students

Ohio's 2011 Milken National Educator Award, Brian Page, explains the importance of financial literacy for elementary students.

11 97 16,630 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.

6 471 16,360 views
article

Resources for Getting Started With Project-Based Learning

Explore Edutopia's curated compilation of online resources for understanding and beginning to implement project-based learning.

5 1,331 16,089 views

Pages

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 62,193 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...

2,890 156,159 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 6,358 views