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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

Resources for Getting Started With Project-Based Learning

Last comment 1 week 2 days ago
9 7,233 44,675 views

Student-Led Projects in Early Elementary

Last comment 2 weeks 3 days ago
8 1,116 views

Assessment in Making

Last comment 1 week 4 days ago
2 88 4,471 views

Project-Based Learning for Primary Grades

Tue, 11/24/2009 - 12:41
21 10 11,996 views

Finding an Authentic Goal for Your PBL Classroom

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 13:16
1 2,944 views

Resources for Getting Started With Project-Based Learning

Mon, 07/11/2016 - 10:13
9 7,233 44,675 views

Browse

A photo of an elementary-school girl looking at a model of the solar system.
blog

PBL Science Empowered by Discussion Forums

ELLs are better positioned to learn science through the COPPELLS model of PBL, which provides online and asynchronous forums for reviewing and discussing course material.

122 1,657 views
blog

PBL Pilot: Student Work Showcase

Fifth grade teachers share how students in their PBL pilot program raised funds for microloans, created websites for a nature preserve, and developed business plans.

459 5,384 views
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Make It Matter: Teach Justice

Students lack experience yet have valid perspectives about bettering their world. They learn when we give them agency to start working toward those changes.

4 241 1,863 views
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Just Ask: Strategies for Building Community Partnerships

Whether through questionnaires to parents or networking through colleagues, you can build a resource pool from the wide range of expertise within your community.

3 210 1,242 views
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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 3,271 24,199 views
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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 28,335 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 1,106 8,687 views

Pages

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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 1,452 22,544 views
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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 21,717 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.
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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 2,049 21,510 views
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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 21,303 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 21,096 views
A curly-haired teenage girl is standing in a classroom holding a metal circle that's connected to two miniature red light bulbs. One of them is lit.
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Design Thinking and PBL

Design thinking and PBL can bridge what we know and how we innovate. Try combining these two practices as an instructional framework for teaching 21st-century skills.

34 939 20,476 views
A boy is hunched over a rectangular device on his desk, drawing.
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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 2,091 20,476 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 80,870 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...

3,470 108,791 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 2,278 views
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