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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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Browse

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article

Resources and Downloads to Facilitate Inquiry-Based Learning

Find information, strategies, protocols, and tools -- including resources and downloads from teachers and schools – to promote curiosity and engage students in asking questions, thinking critically, and solving problems.

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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.

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article

Project-Based Learning Research: Annotated Bibliography

Dig deeper into the specific articles, studies, and reports included in our project-based learning research review.

2 68 20,377 views
Table covered with newspaper and teacher showing something to a boy; girl wearing gloves handling a trout; boy with safety googles looking on
article

Project-Based Learning Research Review

Studies have proven that when implemented well, project-based learning (PBL) can increase retention of content and improve students' attitudes towards learning, among other benefits. Edutopia's PBL research review explores the vast body of research...

1 1,392 108,937 views
Wearing safety goggles, a boy working a drill while a girl steadies the project using two hands
article

Project-Based Learning Research Review: Evidence-Based Components of Success

There are some critical elements to consider when applying project-based learning in the classroom -- here are some recommendations for research-proven steps.

333 31,741 views
Two boys and a mentor student watching water pour into brightly painted plastic cups causing the wheel to turn
article

Project-Based Learning Research Review: Avoiding Pitfalls

The challenges many teachers face in implementing project-based learning well are not to be taken lightly, but we've compiled a list of strategies to avert the most common issues educators face.

2 172 9,796 views
Three girls smiling and laughing around a laptop computer
article

Project-Based Learning Research Review: Best Practices Across Disciplines

What does project-based learning look like in math, science, or economics? On this page you'll find concrete examples of successful projects in specific subjects.

1 241 17,438 views

Pages

photo of a young woman with a spirograph-like toy
blog

What the Heck Is Project-Based Learning?

In project-based learning, students show what they learn as they journey through the unit, interact with its lessons, collaborate with each other, and assess themselves and each other.

41 14,738 85,229 views
A closeup of a female teacher standing in front of a projector. It looks as if she's addressing her class, speaking, with her hands out, gesturing.
blog

How to Write Effective Driving Questions for Project-Based Learning

Good driving questions are written to help guide the teacher and the student.

3 170 83,662 views
article

Why Is Project-Based Learning Important?

The many merits of using project-based learning in the classroom with our Project-Based Learning Professional Development Guide.

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blog

Getting Started With Project-Based Learning (Hint: Don't Go Crazy)

If you're new to project-based learning, Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller eases you into the approach with four suggestions to help you stay sane and begin mastering PBL.

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Girls testing wing strength using plywood
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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.

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Students working on projects
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Six Steps for Planning a Successful Project

Use these guiding principles to pull together projects with the time and resources you have.

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Big Ideas for Better Schools: Ten Ways to Improve Education

Ideas for students, teachers, schools, and communities.

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Pages

Girls testing wing strength using plywood
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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.

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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...

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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...

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