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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.

Discuss

Browse

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 4,011 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 3,487 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 7,635 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 5,176 views
blog

Curious Homework: An Inquiry Project for Students and Parents

Blogger Suzie Boss presents real examples of how to continue to engage student curiosity in school after the homework projects are over.

8 1,015 19,796 views
blog

5 Tips for Flipping Your PBL Classroom

Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller considers how the project-based learning and flipped-classroom models can successfully intersect, offering five tips for engaging students in the project while moving aspects of it outside the classroom walls.

23 714 13,973 views
blog

How to Build Students' Creative Confidence

Edutopia blogger Suzie Boss proposes teachers carve out a Genius Hour, providing students a regular time each week to tackle projects that reflect their personal interests and passions.

2 1,056 9,058 views

Pages

blog

Critical Thinking Pathways

To teach critical thinking, consider applying six definitions of that discipline to the practices of authentic inquiry, PBL, and integrated studies.

7 824 17,596 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!

3 662 17,596 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 17,208 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 17,208 views
article

Entrepreneurial Education: The Successful Investor Project

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

6 16,561 views
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 29 16,432 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 1,325 16,173 views

Pages

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...

2,890 152,801 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 6,729 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.

15 154 61,457 views