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

6 Strategies for Differentiated Instruction in Project-Based Learning

Last comment 3 days 21 hours ago
15 5,430 173,176 views

Mindful Facilitation: Don’t Do Something, Just Stand There

Last comment 6 hours 54 min ago
9 381 4,036 views

Help needed: Social Studies in an Alternative Classroom

Last comment 3 weeks 4 days ago
5 284 views

5 Ways of Bringing Student Passions to Student Learning

Wed, 08/19/2015 - 10:00
3 2,128 13,349 views

5 Keys to Rigorous Project-Based Learning

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 22:28
15 119 14,416 views

Browse

blog

The Out of Eden Walk: An Experiential Learning Journey from the Virtual to the Real

Guest blogger Homa Tavangar, Education Advisor to the Pulitzer Center, presents journalist Paul Salopek's 21,000-mile Out of Eden Walk as a goldmine of experiential learning for connected students of every age.

1 868 3,915 views
blog

Good-to-Go Projects for 2014

Edutopia blogger Suzie Boss proposes teachers start with a ready-made plan they can adapt to fit within the context of their classroom.

3 1,870 19,578 views
blog

New Tool Invites Students to Zoom into History

Edutopia blogger highlights an open source tool that turns the vast history of the universe into an interactive, visual timeline for students.

1 462 6,229 views
blog

Does Spelling Count?

Guest blogger Shira Loewenstein, asked by her students whether spelling counts, comes back with a fascinating question of her own: why is the continuum of learning broken down into a handful of unrelated subjects?

18 5,534 39,512 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

423 12,281 views
blog

The Role of PBL in Making the Shift to Common Core

Guest blogger Sara Hallermann, Curriculum Development Manager at Buck Institute for Education, looks through the lens of PBL to show how six of the Common Core's big ideas are compatible with this activity-centered approach.

9 998 20,824 views
blog

Upcycle Night: A Middle School PBL Project

Guest blogger Aaron Kaio shares his students' adventure in upcycling as he details a project that started with trash and recycling, and elevated to a community crafting event.

201 3,026 views

Pages

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.

11 351 12,993 views
blog

How to Build a Calendar for Project-Based Learning

The Buck Institute's Andrew Miller shares a couple of useful templates for calendaring a project-based class.

3 307 12,815 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.

1 317 12,637 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.

1 389 12,637 views
photo of a city plan created by students on paper with wooden blocks
blog

Geo-Literacy Projects Build Students' Understanding of Our Complex World

Teaching students how to organize, visualize, and analyze information that relates to local and global issues is critical preparation for living in our connected and fast-changing world.

3 1,999 12,459 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.

13 793 12,459 views
Boy at computer and another using a tablet and stylus
article

Career and Technical Education: Research Roundup

Evidence of success in lowering the dropout rate and raising grades.

1 19 12,459 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 70,303 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...

3,452 170,150 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 2,134 views
Join the movement for change