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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

Browse

Reinventing a Public High School with Problem-Based Learning
video

Building the Foundation to Transform a Public High School to PBL

Sammamish High School is in the midst of a five-year process to change from traditional teaching to an entirely problem-based curriculum. Follow the journey of the teachers, administrators, and students as they reinvent their school.

4 213 6,160 views
blog

21st-Century Projects Inspire Global Citizenship Plus Creativity

This is the second in a special Edutopia blog series about developing 21st century skills through project-based learning. In the first post, "Yes, You Can Teach and Assess Creativity!", blogger Andrew Miller offered classroom strategies to encourage...

1 367 4,035 views
Real-World Internships Lead to College and Career Readiness
video

Real-World Internships Lead to College and Career Readiness

At MC2 STEM High School in Cleveland, Ohio, students are paired with industry mentors in order to learn science, technology, engineering, and math skills.

50 1,793 views
blog

Can PBL Help Pave the Way to College Success?

Blogger Suzie Boss puts the spotlight on College YES, a nonprofit that encourages urban students to take a lead on improving their own education through technology.

2 267 2,353 views
blog

Ideas for Digital Citizenship PBL Projects

Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller suggests using the PBL model to teach students the values of digital citizenship.

3 502 13,887 views
blog

Green STEM Initiatives Spark Innovative Learning

Blogger Suzie Boss explores how to encourage more high-energy, cross-disciplinary thinking among today's students.

158 2,129 views
blog

Creating Schoolwide PBL Aligned to Common Core

Eric Isselhardt of Baltimore's Green Street Academy describes how his school is creating PBL curriculum aligned to the Common Core standards.

11 505 21,727 views

Pages

Technology Empowers Student Fieldwork
video

Technology Empowers Student Fieldwork

Fourth-grade students make meaningful contributions to science through the nationwide NatureMapping program.

14 33 10,304 views
article

Knowledge in Action Research Helping to Make the Case for Rigorous Project-Based Learning

This research project by the University of Washington in collaboration with The George Lucas Educational Foundation is studying the impact on student learning of a PBL approach to Advanced Placement courses.

1 276 10,192 views
article

March of the Monarchs: Students Follow the Butterflies' Migration

Students in Maryland participate in a countrywide science experiment.

1 10,192 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...

1 373 10,080 views
article

Seymour Papert: Project-Based Learning

Dr. Seymour Papert describes learning environments in which children collaborate around meaningful projects and powerful ideas.

5 203 10,080 views
article

A School-for-Scribes Program Turns Kids into Novelists

Check out NaNoWriMo, a nationwide program which encourages students to write novels -- for fun.

18 45 9,968 views
article

Academic Scrapbooking: Snapshots of Learning

A social studies teacher uses photo journals to make learning more personal and immediate for her students.

10 7 9,856 views

Pages

We Love PBL Pinterest Board

Visit a curated collection of resources on project-based learning -- including tips and tricks for newbies and veterans -- on Edutopia's pinboard on Pinterest.

27 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...

2,883 148,506 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 7,728 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.

15 149 60,366 views