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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.

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Student Choice and Viral Videos

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6 698 5,699 views

Browse

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 20,851 views
blog

My PBL Pet Peeves: 4 Common Misconceptions

Andrew Miller firmly addresses some common misunderstandings about PBL, including the ideas that projects are lessons and the public audience can be random.

11 350 13,769 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.

9 348 22,621 views
blog

Project-Based Learning Through a Maker's Lens

The messy, hands-on Maker classroom is perfect for a PBL unit when the teacher is willing to collaborate, tinker, fix, break, and rebuild alongside students.

14 1,020 24,785 views
blog

Technology at the Rock: PBL-Driven Integrated Study

A middle school PBL unit about key 19th century inventions grows into an examination of history, ethics, and the relative values of 21st century technologies.

6 241 4,323 views
blog

A World of Project Ideas (You Can Steal)

To get off to a flying start planning this summer, borrow good project ideas from other teachers and adapt them to fit your context.

12 8,651 61,568 views
blog

Grit Happens in PBL

Looking for practical applications of grit? Try project-based learning and move beyond character education to teach students how stuff gets done in the real world.

7 2,184 5,699 views

Pages

Schools Use Games for Learning and Assessment
video

Schools Use Games for Learning and Assessment

Computer simulations are natural learning tools for a generation of video game players.

42 95 18,097 views
blog

When Students Do The Teaching

Guest blogger Kiera Chase shares the power of students creating lessons and teaching their peers.

4 347 17,900 views
photo of three young women working on a project together
blog

Learning by Doing: A Teacher Transitions Into PBL

For a successful PBL unit, set clear goals, over plan, make students accountable, give concrete deadlines, share rubrics in advance, and reflect on your methods.

21 16,600 17,703 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 17,310 views
blog

How to Get Projects Off to a Good Start

Blogger Suzie Boss gives tips for getting projects off the ground.

8 147 17,310 views
article

Speed 101: Motorcycle Racing as Real-World Physics Lab

Isaac Newton hops aboard a two-wheeled teaching tool.

18 124 16,917 views
article

Project-Based Learning and the Common Core: Resource Roundup

Explore a curated compilation of online resources for aligning project-based learning with the Common Core State Standards.

2 375 16,720 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 78,682 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...

3,469 110,549 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 2,164 views