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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

Critical Thinking Pathways

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

7 837 27,870 views
How a TEDx Mission Connects Students to Real-World Goals
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How a TEDx Mission Makes Learning Relevant To Students’ Lives

In a 7th-grade classroom, health lessons are framed as broader "missions" to get students engaged with relevant topics in their community.

655 11,108 views
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Integrated PBL Projects: A Full-Course Meal!

Andrew Miller sees PBL as a source of balanced nutrition, where hitting the standards across many content areas adds up to a full-course meal.

2 1,556 7,270 views
blog

Turn Genius Hour Into Genius Year

Why limit Genius Hour to a small block of time? Through conversations and dares, students can turn this creative, self-directed approach into a life practice.

23 438 13,329 views
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Supporting the Teacher Maker Movement

In order for teachers to encourage student innovation, they need the freedom to be innovative as well. Eight ways school leaders can support faculty who want to develop engaging curriculum.

2 451 10,704 views
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The Happy Eating Place: How Elementary Students Can Run Their Own Business

Fourth and fifth graders develop a service learning project that prepares meals for their school community and donates the proceeds to a county food bank.

1 1,908 11,916 views
blog

Roller Coaster Middle School: How One Kid's Crazy Idea Took PBL to Thrilling New Heights

Will Pemble became CoasterDad when his son's backyard roller coaster idea turned into a massive PBL project integrating math, physics, and 21st century skills.

304 10,906 views

Pages

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Whole-School Project Builds Pride

Blogger Suzie Boss highlights how one school used project-based learning to challenge its students to improve their school site.

11 489 18,984 views
Anatomy of a Project: Give Me Shelter
video

Anatomy of a Project: "Give Me Shelter"

Juniors at Casco Bay High School, in Portland, Maine, explore homelessness by working in teams to make audio slide-show portraits.

3 101 18,984 views
article

What Is Project-Based Learning About?

A description of what teachers can accomplish in the classroom using project-based learning, from our Project-Based Learning Professional Development Guide.

4 26 18,782 views
article

Students Thrive on Cooperation and Problem Solving

Project-based learning teaches kids the collaborative and critical-thinking abilities they'll need to compete.

22 73 18,782 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.

34 803 18,580 views
article

Internet Explorers: Virtual Field Trips Are More Than Just Money Savers

These online adventures emphasize student participation and standards-based curriculum.

155 18,176 views
Three girls smiling and laughing around a laptop computer
article

Project-Based Learning Research Review: Best Practices Across Disciplines

What does project-based learning look like in math, science, or economics? On this page you'll find concrete examples of successful projects in specific subjects.

1 241 17,570 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 79,975 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...

3,470 109,663 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 2,223 views
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