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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

PBL Pilot: Formative Assessment and PBL

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Core Strategies for Innovation and Reform in Learning

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In Australia, a School Designed to Excite and Engage

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14 Examples of High Quality Civic Learning Opportunities

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PBL: What Does It Take for a Project to Be "Authentic"?

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Zombie-Based Learning -- "Braaaaaaains!"

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Browse

article

Is School Enough? Exploring Interest-Driven and Informal Learning

Meet students around the country who are engaged and passionate about learning -- outside of the classroom. Explore additional resources about student engagement and passion-based learning for both parents and educators.

497 8,252 views
blog

PBL Key Piece of Deeper Learning Puzzle

Blogger Suzie Boss makes the case for using project-based instruction to achieve deeper learning.

1 327 2,706 views
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 3,788 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.

3 250 3,247 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 8,117 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 3,517 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.

3 706 18,928 views

Pages

article

How to Help an International School: Give the Gift of Books -- and More

Teach children a global lesson by donating books and other needed supplies to schools around the world.

11 42 11,087 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

746 10,816 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.

9 108 10,816 views
blog

Project-Based Learning as a Context for Arts Integration

Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller shares how PBL can serve as a dynamic context for arts integration.

13 508 10,546 views
blog

PBL Pilot: Formative Assessment and PBL

Two fifth grade teachers explain how the driving question and the need to know list are a naturally fit for their PBL pilot program.

5 3,341 10,519 views
article

Students Can Get Work Done in Groups

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

21 22 10,411 views
blog

Supporting the Teacher Maker Movement

In order for teachers to encourage student innovation, they need the freedom to be innovative as well. Eight ways school leaders can support faculty who want to develop engaging curriculum.

2 607 10,275 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 62,193 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...

2,890 156,159 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 6,358 views