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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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Browse

blog

How to Help Your Students Develop Data Literacy

Blogger Suzie Boss offers up ideas and resources for helping students learn how to interpret, understand, and use data to drive inquiry.

1 804 5,025 views
blog

How to Manage the Angry Birds on Your Project

Guest blogger Chris Hare focuses on communication, a critical element of PBL, through the lens of the Angry Birds game and proposes different strategies for working with red, orange, black and blue birds within your group.

5 176 1,827 views
blog

Maximizing Profit: The PBL Classroom Without PBL

Danielle Lynch of Sammamish High School offers a glimpse of the 21st century skills that remain on display in her problem-based learning math classroom even when students aren't specifically tasked with a PBL project.

4 248 8,679 views
blog

How PBL Prepares Students for CCSS Test Performance Tasks: Part 2 - PBL is Already Aligned for Assessment

In the second of two blogposts, John Larmer of the Buck Institute for Education reviews how the eight essential elements of PBL can fit (sometimes neatly, sometimes not) within the expectations of Common Core assessment.

386 1,980 views
blog

How PBL Prepares Students for CCSS Test Performance Tasks: Part 1 - Defining the Tasks

Guest blogger John Larmer of the Buck Institute for Education, in the first of two blog posts, defines Common Core test performance tasks and how looks at teachers can apply project-based learning to their assessment practice.

6 236 2,593 views
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 2,132 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 3,050 views

Pages

article

Comics Make for Colorful Learning

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

26 63 17,815 views
article

From Curriculum to Communication, a School Immerses Itself in Tech

At Mary Scroggs Elementary School, every day is a technology day.

97 73 17,815 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.

6 624 17,510 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.

3 646 17,053 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 6 17,053 views
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.

7 264 16,901 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 1,198 16,749 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.

15 225 63,645 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...

2,892 161,701 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 6,243 views