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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

5 Favorite Apps for PBL Language Learning

Last comment 1 week 5 days ago
7 1,338 6,153 views

14 Examples of High Quality Civic Learning Opportunities

Last comment 2 weeks 5 days ago
6 35 668 views

What the Heck Is Project-Based Learning?

Last comment 3 hours 4 min ago
7 770 4,506 views

Resources for Getting Started With Project-Based Learning

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 11:59
4 1,315 4,156 views

What the Heck Is Project-Based Learning?

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 12:00
7 770 4,506 views

Browse

blog

Start the Year with a Project . . . or Wait?

John Larmer, Editor in Chief at the Buck Institute for Education, weighs the pros and cons of starting the school year with a PBL project.

15 188 5,603 views
How Building Robots Captivates Kids' Imaginations (Is School Enough? Series)
video

How Making Robots Captivates Kids' Imaginations

Building robots inspires such passion in high school seniors Violet and Kjersti that they've begun mentoring younger robotics teams to teach STEM skills -- and save their school's robotics program.

3 251 7,469 views
blog

From Coverage to "Uncoverage!"

Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller starts the conversation about how effectively teachers may or may not be covering their material - and how PBL can help make it stick.

4 147 1,636 views
blog

Thinking Critically About Social Action Projects

Blogger Suzie Boss outlines ways in which social action projects can increase students' leadership skills.

4 152 3,739 views
blog

Bacon Apart: A Rigorous (and Delicious) Student-Centered Project

Teacher and blogger Shawn Cornally walks us through a student pitch that, through rigor, competences, and standards, turns into prize-winning bacon at the county fair.

3 159 2,337 views
blog

Why Teachers Need to Be Great Storytellers

To garner more community support, blogger Suzie Boss encourages teachers to publicize their success stories and dynamic tales of project-based learning.

8 870 6,418 views
Internships Offer Meaningful Real-World Learning (Is School Enough? Series)
video

Internships Offer Meaningful Real-World Learning

16-year-old Noah finds purpose and learns valuable career skills working at a nonprofit two full days a week, while protecting and restoring his local watershed. Internships with deep impact are a key element at his high school, San Diego Met, part...

180 2,804 views

Pages

blog

How to Build a Calendar for Project-Based Learning

The Buck Institute's Andrew Miller shares a couple of useful templates for calendaring a project-based class.

2 278 13,322 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 5 13,206 views
article

World Without Walls: Learning Well with Others

How to teach when learning is everywhere.

29 85 12,972 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 72 12,504 views
article

From Trash to Treasure: Reusing Industrial Materials for School Art Projects

Junk becomes classroom jewels for creative recycling educators.

9 2 12,504 views
article

VoiceThread Extends the Classroom with Interactive Multimedia Albums

Encourage student participation with accessible and engaging digital discussions.

9 45 12,388 views
blog

Kids Like Blues: Using Music and Video to Rock Your Classroom

Teacher and musician Jon Schwartz tells the amusing and inspiring story (with generous video examples) of how he turned the blues into an effective pedagogy for his first graders.

8 310 12,271 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...

2,879 147,249 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 7,713 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 60,068 views