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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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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.


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.


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: 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.




Common Core in Action: Teaching Critical Thinking and Questioning

Edutopia blogger Heather Wolpert-Gawron outlines how project-based learning, with a focus on the common core, and iPads engaged her students in critical thinking and questioning.

6 1,480 24,641 views

The Out of Eden Walk: An Experiential Learning Journey from the Virtual to the Real

Guest blogger Homa Tavangar, Education Advisor to the Pulitzer Center, presents journalist Paul Salopek's 21,000-mile Out of Eden Walk as a goldmine of experiential learning for connected students of every age.

1 666 3,636 views

Good-to-Go Projects for 2014

Edutopia blogger Suzie Boss proposes teachers start with a ready-made plan they can adapt to fit within the context of their classroom.

3 1,870 18,954 views

New Tool Invites Students to Zoom into History

Edutopia blogger highlights an open source tool that turns the vast history of the universe into an interactive, visual timeline for students.

1 449 5,534 views

Does Spelling Count?

Guest blogger Shira Loewenstein, asked by her students whether spelling counts, comes back with a fascinating question of her own: why is the continuum of learning broken down into a handful of unrelated subjects?

18 5,537 40,278 views
How Design Thinking Can Empower Young People

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

366 11,689 views

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.

9 999 20,060 views


Engineering Success: Students Build Understanding

Engineering Success: Students Build Understanding

When long-term projects form the backbone of the curriculum, learning takes off.

7 38 14,848 views

How to Use Digital Storytelling in Your Classroom

Empower student creativity with affordable and accessible technology.

8 40 14,848 views

World Without Walls: Learning Well with Others

How to teach when learning is everywhere.

29 41 14,690 views

PBL Pilot: Formative Assessment and PBL

Two fifth grade teachers explain how the driving question and the need to know list are a naturally fit for their PBL pilot program.

9 3,159 14,374 views

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.

2 210 14,374 views

Practical PBL Series: Design an Instructional Unit in Seven Phases

In this first of a three-part series, teacher and blogger Amber Graeber presents the Seven Phases of a Project Cycle, a practical breakdown of how you might guide your students through a PBL unit.

4 368 14,216 views

How to Get Projects Off to a Good Start

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

8 146 14,216 views



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 64,445 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...

3,199 164,272 views

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 2,530 views