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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.

Browse

blog

Innovative Practice: 5 Strategies for the Early Learning Classroom

Project- and play-based learning are essential in the early grades to develop creative learning dispositions during the brain's most active period of synaptic growth.

13 3,265 22,185 views
blog

6 Rules to Break for Better, Deeper-Learning Outcomes

Incorporate deeper learning as you empower students to seek knowledge from many sources, use tools relevant to their lives, and embrace the lessons of failure.

24 2,901 28,841 views
blog

How to Change the World: Service PBL in the Common Core Literacy Classroom

The language arts are the building blocks when applying Common Core literacy standards to tangible, effects-driven actions in the real world.

18 1,105 8,269 views
blog

Culinary Arts Integration: 12 PBL Activities Students Can Sink Their Teeth Into

Use the study and preparation of food as a cross-curricular PBL modality in math, chemistry, social studies, history, or language arts classes.

3 1,380 12,303 views
blog

Zombie-Based Learning -- "Braaaaaaains!"

From PBL to ZBL, Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller explores a new twist to project-based learning: the pedagogical benefits of Zombies!

23 2,270 32,673 views
blog

PBL Pilot: Rolling It Out to Parents and Students

The PBL pilot program rollout continues as two adventurous teachers open lines of communication with parents and engage their fifth graders with a driving question.

8 59 4,239 views
blog

Avoiding the Flop: 5 Questions to Guide Projects and Inquiry

To be an effective guide on the side, plan for every aspect of the project while remaining open to student ideas, needs, and understanding.

2 821 11,093 views

Pages

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 84 21,580 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.

9 999 21,580 views
Four young girls are sitting, writing at their desks. Five young students are standing by a projector at the front of the class, pointing at the screen, which is projecting four different sentences marked with blue marker.
blog

Tools for Differentiating Instruction in PBL

Differentiate the content, process, and product of your PBL lessons with tools and practices like Learning Profile Cards, narrative feedback, and design thinking.

1 2,046 20,975 views
blog

Ideas for Digital Citizenship PBL Projects

Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller suggests using the PBL model to teach students the values of digital citizenship.

3 187 20,773 views
Man crouched down talking to a student who is sitting at his desk
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.

1,013 20,572 views
Anatomy of a Project: "Soil Superheroes"
video

Anatomy of a Project: "Soil Superheroes"

Project Learning Assignment: Seventh graders work with community experts to advance their understanding of bacteria in the environment -- and then share their findings with the community at large.

29 20,168 views
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!

3 768 19,967 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 79,933 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...

3,470 109,807 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 2,221 views
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