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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.

Browse

blog

PBL and Culturally Responsive Instruction

English teacher Rob Wood concludes Sammamish High School's blog series about the seven key elements for integrating PBL by explaining the pedagogical differences between Inclusive Cultural Response and Reactive Cultural Response.

3 202 3,828 views
How Building a Car Can Drive Deeper Learning (Is School Enough? Series)
video

How Building a Car Can Drive Deeper Learning

Math used to be a struggle for 14-year-old Kathryn, until she fell in love with cars and started a hands-on project to build her own. Now the math matters and makes sense, and a whole new world of learning has opened up for her.

3 120 3,168 views
blog

We Don't Like "Projects"

Shawn Cornally, founder of the Big Ideas School, suggests that the first step toward successful PBL is getting students to understand why they don't need to experience dread when they hear the word project.

6 264 7,921 views
blog

Building Partnerships to Expand the PBL Classroom

Human geography teacher Karissa Stay continues Sammamish High School's blog series about the seven key elements for integrating PBL with an offbeat analogy that compares finding the right outside expert with dating and marriage.

160 3,432 views
article

Integrated Studies Research Review: Evidence-Based Practices and Programs

Evidence points to seven key approaches to integrating curricula that have been shown to be effective.

3 547 18,994 views
blog

How to Grow Your Own Film Academy

Blogger Suzie Boss shares how an elementary school in Elk Grove, California is using the power of filmmaking to teach writing, critical thinking, and civic engagement.

3 113 1,718 views
blog

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.

1 241 9,497 views

Pages

article

Film School: Making Movies From Storyboard to Screen

The silver screen inspires young minds to think big.

1 3 11,080 views
Technology Inspires Self-Directed Learning
video

EAST -- A Way Forward: Tech Inspires Self-Directed Learning

Students in the Environmental and Spatial Technology program, at Horace Mann Magnet Middle School, in Little Rock, Arkansas, connect with nature through projects that serve their community.

9 63 10,948 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

382 10,816 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.

239 10,684 views
article

Students Can Get Work Done in Groups

For project learning to be most effective, students must understand how to work together.

21 11 10,684 views
Embedding Assessment Throughout the Project (Keys to PBL Series Part 5)
video

Embedding Assessment Throughout the Project (Keys to PBL Series Part 5)

Assessment can be integrated seamlessly into project-based learning. Find tools for measuring student understanding from the beginning to the end of a project.

221 10,552 views
article

Google Lit Trips: Bringing Travel Tales to Life

Follow along for a multidimensional literary adventure.

6 29 10,552 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...

3,438 155,114 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 6,601 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.

15 155 61,597 views