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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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3 Ways to Plan for Diverse Learners: What Teachers Do

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Student Choice and Viral Videos

Thu, 02/18/2016 - 12:00
6 698 5,687 views

Browse

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 1,103 8,433 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 12,159 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 2,269 32,359 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 4,315 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.

2 819 10,198 views
blog

The Maker Movement: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants to Own the Future

The Maker movement's pedagogical roots reach back to 18th-century Europe even as its branches reach globally to transform 21st-century education.

2 1,877 7,845 views
blog

What Should "Gold Standard" PBL Include?

Find out why a gold standard in PBL is necessary and how teachers, school leaders, and others can contribute to the conversation around its development.

67 2,160 views

Pages

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 20,592 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 20,396 views
A boy is hunched over a rectangular device on his desk, drawing.
blog

Project-Based Learning and Gamification: Two Great Tastes That Go Great Together

Prepping for a gamified unit of study or project is very different than prepping for your traditional, linear model. Here are some tips on how to do it.

7 2,077 20,200 views
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 3,264 20,200 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 20,200 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 86 20,200 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 84 20,004 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 78,520 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...

3,469 110,714 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...

1 613,728 2,356 views