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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.


Empowering Students to Change the World

Last comment 1 week 4 days ago
4 554 2,127 views

Service Learning: Growing Action From the Roots of Passion

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4 384 3,562 views

Aligning the Projects With the Standards

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2 77 2,691 views

Troubleshooting PBL

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 06:00
2 546 views

Big Ideas for Better Schools: Ten Ways to Improve Education

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6 357 88,320 views

Service Learning: Growing Action From the Roots of Passion

Mon, 11/09/2015 - 10:00
4 384 3,562 views



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 22,679 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.

1 856 3,698 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 19,319 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 5,884 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 39,794 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 11,935 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 20,327 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 14,289 views

Powerful Classroom Lessons: It All Begins With the Hook

The lure or hook when introducing new learning to students matters more than we think.

7 1,728 14,121 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.

4 369 13,617 views

Academic Discourse and PBL

Math teacher Danielle Lynch continues Sammamish High School's blog series about the seven key elements for integrating PBL with examples of how the principle of academic discourse can deepen math learning.

1 284 13,449 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 40 13,449 views

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.

8 348 13,280 views

5 Ways of Bringing Student Passions to Student Learning

Learning and learning outcomes are more meaningful to students when teachers engage their passions, unleash their creativity, and give them time and tools for innovation.

2 2,062 13,112 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 67,499 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...

3,199 169,085 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 2,353 views
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