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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.

Browse

blog

PBL Key Piece of Deeper Learning Puzzle

Blogger Suzie Boss makes the case for using project-based instruction to achieve deeper learning.

1 411 2,780 views
blog

PBL and Culturally Responsive Instruction

English teacher Rob Wood concludes Sammamish High School's blog series about the seven key elements for integrating PBL by explaining the pedagogical differences between Inclusive Cultural Response and Reactive Cultural Response.

3 204 3,558 views
How Building a Car Can Drive Deeper Learning (Is School Enough? Series)
video

How Building a Car Can Drive Deeper Learning

Math used to be a struggle for 14-year-old Kathryn, until she fell in love with cars and started a hands-on project to build her own. Now the math matters and makes sense, and a whole new world of learning has opened up for her.

3 249 2,780 views
blog

We Don't Like "Projects"

Shawn Cornally, founder of the Big Ideas School, suggests that the first step toward successful PBL is getting students to understand why they don't need to experience dread when they hear the word project.

6 306 7,664 views
blog

Building Partnerships to Expand the PBL Classroom

Human geography teacher Karissa Stay continues Sammamish High School's blog series about the seven key elements for integrating PBL with an offbeat analogy that compares finding the right outside expert with dating and marriage.

160 2,780 views
article

Integrated Studies Research Review: Evidence-Based Practices and Programs

Evidence points to seven key approaches to integrating curricula that have been shown to be effective.

3 798 16,231 views
blog

How to Grow Your Own Film Academy

Blogger Suzie Boss shares how an elementary school in Elk Grove, California is using the power of filmmaking to teach writing, critical thinking, and civic engagement.

3 196 1,446 views

Pages

Mixing Art + Politics -- Integrated Studies in High School
video

Schools That Work: Mixing Art + Politics -- Integrated Studies in High School

Video: Teachers Dayna Laur (AP government) and Katlyn Wolfgang (art) at Central York High School in York, PA, share their strategies for creating successful integrated studies projects.

2 135 12,218 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.

8 314 12,107 views
blog

Ripped from the Headlines: How to Turn Current Events into Real-World Projects

Suzie Boss shares ways teachers can use current events and news in the classroom, and helpful links to get you started.

10 274 12,107 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.

23 750 11,885 views
article

How to Help an International School: Give the Gift of Books -- and More

Teach children a global lesson by donating books and other needed supplies to schools around the world.

11 40 11,885 views
Technology Inspires Self-Directed Learning
video

EAST -- A Way Forward: Tech Inspires Self-Directed Learning

Students in the Environmental and Spatial Technology program, at Horace Mann Magnet Middle School, in Little Rock, Arkansas, connect with nature through projects that serve their community.

9 108 11,885 views
blog

Shoe Design Offers a Trojan Horse for Problem Solving with Design Thinking

Blogger Suzie Boss describes how design thinking offers a perfect vehicle for connecting students with their community.

11 701 11,773 views

Pages

We Love PBL Pinterest Board

Visit a curated collection of resources on project-based learning -- including tips and tricks for newbies and veterans -- on Edutopia's pinboard on Pinterest.

27 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...

2,884 147,748 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 7,664 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.

15 212 60,922 views