Facebook
Edutopia on Facebook
Twitter
Edutopia on Twitter
Google+
Edutopia on Google+
Pinterest
Edutopia on Pinterest Follow Me on Pinterest
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.

PrintPrint
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Share
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

4 Practices for Increasing Student Engagement

Last comment 1 week 1 day ago
6 690 12,914 views

Turn Genius Hour Into Genius Year

Last comment 1 week 5 days ago
23 436 12,747 views

3 Ways to Plan for Diverse Learners: What Teachers Do

Last comment 4 days 20 hours ago
57 7,816 182,975 views

3 Ways to Plan for Diverse Learners: What Teachers Do

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 12:10
57 7,816 182,975 views

Student Choice and Viral Videos

Thu, 02/18/2016 - 12:00
6 698 5,687 views

Browse

blog

They Do Call It a "Play," Don't They?

Guest blogger Raleigh Werberger, a high school history and humanities teacher, shares a lesson plan for incorporating classical Greek drama into a PBL unit and folding kinesthetic learning into a study of history and language.

3 853 3,922 views
blog

PBL and STEAM Education: A Natural Fit

Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller looks at the enhanced possibilities of using 21st century skills to engage students with real-world challenges through combining the pedagogical model of PBL with the rich content area of STEAM.

18 1,408 21,180 views
blog

For Earth Day and Beyond: Focus on Environmental Action Projects

Edutopia Suzie Boss shares exciting projects to teach students about Earth Day and how to care for the environment.

3 1,472 9,021 views
blog

Students Put Global Skills to Work

Blogger Suzie Boss highlights how high school students from 26 U.S. states, 16 cities from across China, plus a smattering of other locations come together to tackle global issues.

1 147 981 views
blog

In China, Students Come Face-to-Face with Global Issues

Edutopia blogger Suzie Boss describes how high school students from the U.S. and China work together to design sustainable solutions for global challenges.

2 104 784 views
blog

"Mom, What is Project Management?"

Guest blogger Chris Hare, project manager and parent, uses a book report assignment to demonstrate how project management is already in place in the classroom, and how easy it would be to fine-tune this practice.

8 1,718 9,021 views
article

Project-Based Learning and the Common Core: Resource Roundup

Explore a curated compilation of online resources for aligning project-based learning with the Common Core State Standards.

2 375 16,670 views

Pages

STEAM + Project-Based Learning: Real Solutions From Driving Questions
Schools That Work

STEAM + Project-Based Learning: Real Solutions From Driving Questions

At Charles R. Drew Charter School, third-grade students use PBL to prepare for the next Snowpocalypse.

3 2,527 14,905 views
A young boy is lying in the grass with a pencil in his hand, looking down at a red notebook filled with yellow paper
article

Resources and Downloads to Facilitate Inquiry-Based Learning

Find information, strategies, protocols, and tools -- including resources and downloads from teachers and schools – to promote curiosity and engage students in asking questions, thinking critically, and solving problems.

2,829 14,709 views
Four students sitting across from each other, one girl standing in the middle, all with post-it's on their foreheads
blog

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.

3 2,135 14,512 views
Rigorous Project-Based Learning Transforms AP Courses
video

Rigorous Project-Based Learning Transforms AP Courses

Through a project called Knowledge in Action, researchers at the University of Washington have been exploring whether project-based learning can help high school students with diverse learning styles understand content more deeply in advanced placement...

1 236 14,512 views
Photo of two boys playing violins
article

Resources for STEAM

Discover information, examples, and tools related to incorporating aspects of the arts, design, and the humanities into STEM-based school activities.

3 3,311 14,120 views
How Design Thinking Can Empower Young People
video

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

454 14,120 views
Facilitating Learning in a Student-Driven Environment (Keys to PBL Series Part 4)
video

Facilitating Learning in a Student-Driven Environment (Keys to PBL Series Part 4)

When they are directly involved in planning and steering projects, students are more invested in their learning. Get ideas for empowering your students to work independently.

1 318 13,924 views

Pages

Girls testing wing strength using plywood
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.

15 225 78,446 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...

3,469 110,608 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...

1 613,728 2,356 views