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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.

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

Browse

blog

Goal Setting for the New School Year

Schools must help kids "build a self" through a range of opportunity and support accounting for both the big picture and the granular details.

277 2,914 views
blog

Creating a Welcoming and Intellectually Challenging Classroom

Check out these important strategies for creating an inclusive learning space that also challenges students with rigorous thinking and projects.

1 681 11,200 views
blog

Getting into the PBL Groove

Let your students know from day one that they're in a PBL classroom by defining PBL and setting the tone for collaboration, critique, and questioning.

3 262 6,720 views
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Critical Thinking Pathways

To teach critical thinking, consider applying six definitions of that discipline to the practices of authentic inquiry, PBL, and integrated studies.

7 823 16,127 views
How a TEDx Mission Connects Students to Real-World Goals
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How a TEDx Mission Makes Learning Relevant To Students’ Lives

In a 7th-grade classroom, health lessons are framed as broader "missions" to get students engaged with relevant topics in their community.

288 3,811 views
blog

Integrated PBL Projects: A Full-Course Meal!

Andrew Miller sees PBL as a source of balanced nutrition, where hitting the standards across many content areas adds up to a full-course meal.

2 360 7,616 views
blog

Turn Genius Hour Into Genius Year

Why limit Genius Hour to a small block of time? Through conversations and dares, students can turn this creative, self-directed approach into a life practice.

14 716 9,408 views

Pages

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.

7 740 64,286 views
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 on the...

1 821 60,702 views
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.

15 149 60,366 views
blog

Project-Based Learning vs. Problem-Based Learning vs. X-BL

In the first of two parts, guest blogger John Larmer of the Buck Institute for Education clears up any confusion on the difference between project-based learning, problem-based learning, and whatever-else-based learning.

18 1,930 60,254 views
article

Six Steps for Planning a Successful Project

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

10 519 58,686 views
Five Keys to Rigorous Project-Based Learning
video

Five Keys to Rigorous Project-Based Learning

Well-designed project-based learning (PBL) has been shown to result in deeper learning and engaged, self-directed learners. Learn more about the five core elements of successful PBL.

14 1,462 58,574 views
blog

Designing Science Inquiry: Claim + Evidence + Reasoning = Explanation

Edutopia blogger Eric Brunsell breaks scientific inquiry down into the basic CER model and offers suggestions for introducing it to students.

2 133 57,790 views

Pages

We Love PBL Pinterest Board

Visit a curated collection of resources on project-based learning -- including tips and tricks for newbies and veterans -- on Edutopia's pinboard on Pinterest.

27 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...

2,881 148,506 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 7,728 views
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.

15 149 60,366 views