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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

Browse

blog

Building Parent Support for Project-Based Learning

John Larmer, Editor in Chief at the Buck Institute for Education, presents a strategy for bringing parents on board when students are introduced to project-based learning.

1 415 2,283 views
Constructing Sustainable Houses Develops Collaborative Skills (Is School Enough? Series)
video

Constructing Sustainable Houses Develops Collaborative Skills

Teens in Philadelphia learn how to solve math and engineering problems while working together to build high-efficiency homes designed for disaster relief, as part of an alternative senior year program called the Workshop School.

150 1,880 views
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.

2 114 940 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 6,720 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 5,774 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 7,526 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 1,612 views

Pages

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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 1,585 12,223 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 12,089 views
article

From Trash to Treasure: Reusing Industrial Materials for School Art Projects

Junk becomes classroom jewels for creative recycling educators.

9 13 12,089 views
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.

1 670 11,821 views
blog

How to Get High-Quality Student Work in PBL

John Larmer, Editor in Chief at the Buck Institute for Education, looks at how to get high-quality work from students engaged in project-based learning.

16 584 11,821 views
blog

How to Get Projects Off to a Good Start

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

8 138 11,821 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 11,686 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.

15 218 62,326 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...

2,889 154,876 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 6,317 views