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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

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3 Ways to Plan for Diverse Learners: What Teachers Do

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Student Choice and Viral Videos

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Browse

blog

Sammamish Year 3: Teaching, Leadership, and School Change

A year after introducing us to the schoolwide PBL curriculum at Sammamish High, teacher leader Adrienne Curtis Dickinson reviews how their seven key elements have played out in course design, professional development, and student learning.

4 589 5,519 views
High School Teachers Meet the Challenges of PBL Implementation
video

High School Teachers Meet the Challenges of PBL Implementation

Teachers at Sammamish High in Washington share their difficulties and triumphs as their school moves from traditional delivery of instruction to schoolwide problem-based learning.

54 5,516 views
blog

Focus on Audience for Better PBL Results

Edutopia blogger and PBL expert Suzie Boss describes how connecting students with a real audience often leads to deeper learning.

5 519 8,278 views
blog

PBL Meets WWII: A History Lesson to Remember

Guest blogger Heather Calabro, teacher and founding member of Mid-Pacific Institute's eXploratory Program, details a PBL history project about WWII that her students took to heart - and took much farther than she expected.

3 253 8,475 views
blog

Curious Homework: An Inquiry Project for Students and Parents

Blogger Suzie Boss presents real examples of how to continue to engage student curiosity in school after the homework projects are over.

8 3,014 24,244 views
blog

5 Tips for Flipping Your PBL Classroom

Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller considers how the project-based learning and flipped-classroom models can successfully intersect, offering five tips for engaging students in the project while moving aspects of it outside the classroom walls.

24 2,287 16,360 views
blog

How to Build Students' Creative Confidence

Edutopia blogger Suzie Boss proposes teachers carve out a Genius Hour, providing students a regular time each week to tackle projects that reflect their personal interests and passions.

5 1,575 10,644 views

Pages

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 14,191 views
Structuring Collaboration for Student Success (Keys to PBL Series Part 3)
video

Structuring Collaboration for Student Success (Keys to PBL Series Part 3)

PBL provides a unique opportunity to help students practice critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity. Learn how to optimize the environment for teamwork in your classroom.

246 13,994 views
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.

11 350 13,797 views
blog

How to Get High-Quality Student Work in PBL

John Larmer, Editor in Chief at the Buck Institute for Education, looks at how to get high-quality work from students engaged in project-based learning.

16 105 13,797 views
Using Today's Technology Tools to Study Yesterday's
video

Using Today's Technology Tools to Study Yesterday's

A fifth-grade field trip from Ferryway School, near Boston, to the nation's oldest ironworks is captured with the latest tech.

66 33 13,797 views
article

How to Use Digital Storytelling in Your Classroom

Empower student creativity with affordable and accessible technology.

9 86 13,797 views
article

How to Create a Classroom Literature Circle

This book-discussion method is simple to set up in class but requires preparation and flexibility.

4 13,600 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 78,842 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...

3,469 110,970 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 2,168 views
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