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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

4 Practices for Increasing Student Engagement

Last comment 1 day 16 hours ago
3 246 7,735 views

Design Thinking and PBL

Last comment 2 weeks 2 days ago
34 673 13,233 views

PBL for Non-English Speakers?

Last comment 2 weeks 6 days ago
6 515 views

5 Keys to Rigorous Project-Based Learning

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 22:28
21 212 30,327 views

Twenty Ideas for Engaging Projects

Mon, 09/12/2011 - 07:00
19 770 373,324 views

Making Room for Children's Ideas Through PBL

Thu, 03/17/2016 - 10:00
3 1,350 7,288 views

Browse

blog

Common Core in Action: Teaching Critical Thinking and Questioning

Edutopia blogger Heather Wolpert-Gawron outlines how project-based learning, with a focus on the common core, and iPads engaged her students in critical thinking and questioning.

6 1,551 24,376 views
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.

1 867 4,219 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 1,869 19,946 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 6,137 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 5,532 40,883 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

454 13,809 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 21,480 views

Pages

Photo of two boys playing violins
article

Resources for STEAM

Discover information, examples, and tools related to incorporating aspects of the arts, design, and the humanities into STEM-based school activities.

3 3,213 13,042 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 13,042 views
blog

Innovative Education: Make Room for "What Ifs"

Edutopia blogger Suzie Boss highlights a science project where eighth-graders created a "robohand" after their teacher invited them to solve a real-world problem.

2 1,919 12,850 views
Replicating Another School's Success: One Teacher's Story
video

Replicating Another School's Success: One Teacher's Story

Once a traditional lecture-style teacher, Michelle Underwood's science classroom now hums with the energy of students absorbed in collaborative learning projects.

3 56 12,658 views
article

Reinventing a Public High School: A Case Study in Integrating Problem-Based Learning

Keep up to date with Edutopia's coverage as we follow the whole-school transformation of Sammamish High School, near Seattle -- from traditional delivery of instruction to completely problem-based learning.

1 121 12,466 views
Engineering Success: Students Build Understanding
video

Engineering Success: Students Build Understanding

When long-term projects form the backbone of the curriculum, learning takes off.

7 55 12,466 views
article

From Curriculum to Communication, a School Immerses Itself in Tech

At Mary Scroggs Elementary School, every day is a technology day.

97 85 12,466 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 76,584 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...

3,469 115,740 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 2,303 views
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