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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

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Browse

How Design Thinking Can Empower Young People
video

How Design Thinking Can Empower Young People

At People Serving People, a homeless shelter in Minneapolis, local design firms and educators work together to show kids how design thinking can help them make a difference in their neighborhoods

386 10,849 views
blog

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 1,002 19,705 views
blog

Upcycle Night: A Middle School PBL Project

Guest blogger Aaron Kaio shares his students' adventure in upcycling as he details a project that started with trash and recycling, and elevated to a community crafting event.

202 2,958 views
blog

San Francisco Bat Kid: A Model PBL Project

Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller looks at the high-profile pageant of San Francisco's Bat Kid event and sees a best-case scenario for both project-based learning and service learning.

197 1,408 views
blog

In India, a School that Empowers Students and Teachers

What happens when students and teachers are immersed in an environment that encourages innovation and risk taking?

4 2,486 8,594 views
Sparking Civic Engagement by Building in Public Spaces
video

Sparking Civic Engagement by Building in Public Spaces

Sixteen-year-old Alexa gains hands-on experience and leadership skills by collaborating on a play space for kids through Philadelphia's Public Workshop, which promotes community engagement and innovation.

76 2,958 views
blog

Making the Most of Mentors for Students

Blogger Suzie Boss provides pointers for teachers on how best to utilize adult mentors who help their students with projects.

340 2,111 views

Pages

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 14,497 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.

4 536 14,215 views
article

How to Use Digital Storytelling in Your Classroom

Empower student creativity with affordable and accessible technology.

8 71 14,075 views
blog

Project-Based Learning: Debunking the Myths and Fallacies

Edutopia blogger Bob Lenz makes a case for confronting all the misleading beliefs about project-based learning.

23 752 13,934 views
blog

Practical PBL: Four Tips for Better Implementation

Teacher Adrienne Curtis Dickinson offers four practical tips for taking PBL from a high concept to something easily implemented in the classroom.

2 206 13,934 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 2,288 13,793 views
article

Research-Based Practices for Engaging Students in STEM Learning

Innovative and effective practices at Cleveland's MC2 STEM High School are driving learning and higher achievement for students in a district where every student qualifies for free- or reduced-price meals.

126 13,793 views

Pages

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.

15 219 62,351 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...

3,439 158,762 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 5,917 views