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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

Powerful Classroom Lessons: It All Begins With the Hook

Last comment 5 days 13 hours ago
6 571 8,729 views

Emphasize Real Problems to Boost STEM Learning

Last comment 2 days 21 hours ago
6 167 1,024 views

PBL Pilot: 4 Strategies to Implement and Spread PBL in Your School

Last comment 2 days 20 hours ago
6 326 3,982 views

4 Paths to Engaging Authentic Purpose and Audience

Mon, 04/13/2015 - 12:00
3 305 2,423 views

PBL Pilot: 4 Strategies to Implement and Spread PBL in Your School

Thu, 04/09/2015 - 10:00
6 326 3,982 views

Emphasize Real Problems to Boost STEM Learning

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 06:00
6 167 1,024 views

Browse

blog

Getting Specific About Student Success

Edutopia blogger Suzie Boss explores how project-based learning and the use of rubrics can increase a school's academic success.

2 114 913 views
blog

Focus on Collaboration to Kick Off New School Year

Blogger Suzie Boss shares steps for assisting secondary students with classroom collaboration.

1 399 6,782 views
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.

15 257 5,869 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.

3 252 7,695 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.

4 166 1,566 views
blog

Thinking Critically About Social Action Projects

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

4 210 3,782 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.

3 258 2,478 views

Pages

blog

Creating a Welcoming and Intellectually Challenging Classroom

Check out these important strategies for creating an inclusive learning space that also challenges students with rigorous thinking and projects.

1 669 12,247 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.

4 248 12,247 views
Engineering Success: Students Build Understanding
video

Engineering Success: Students Build Understanding

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

7 58 12,247 views
blog

Innovative Education: Make Room for "What Ifs"

Edutopia blogger Suzie Boss highlights a science project where eighth-graders created a "robohand" after their teacher invited them to solve a real-world problem.

2 1,540 12,117 views
blog

PBL: What Does It Take for a Project to Be "Authentic"?

John Larmer of the Buck Institute for Education looks at the criteria determining whether or not project based learning is authentic, and how important this distinction might be.

13 563 12,117 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 1,086 11,856 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.

11 359 11,726 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...

2,890 153,610 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 6,782 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 61,366 views