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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

Browse

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 5,537 41,553 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 14,392 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.

9 999 21,486 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.

203 3,041 views
blog

San Francisco Bat Kid: A Model PBL Project

Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller looks at the high-profile pageant of San Francisco's Bat Kid event and sees a best-case scenario for both project-based learning and service learning.

196 811 views
blog

In India, a School that Empowers Students and Teachers

What happens when students and teachers are immersed in an environment that encourages innovation and risk taking?

5 2,510 7,899 views
Sparking Civic Engagement by Building in Public Spaces
video

Sparking Civic Engagement by Building in Public Spaces

Sixteen-year-old Alexa gains hands-on experience and leadership skills by collaborating on a play space for kids through Philadelphia's Public Workshop, which promotes community engagement and innovation.

169 3,446 views

Pages

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 13,368 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.

13 802 13,368 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.

1 123 13,166 views
Linda Darling-Hammond on Creating a Collaborative Classroom
video

The Collaborative Classroom: An Interview with Linda Darling-Hammond

The Stanford University education professor says social and emotional learning is a crucial part of teaching the whole child.

8 98 13,166 views
A group of about 20 young children are sitting and laying down on bean bags in a library. They're listening to a teacher standing in from of them and talking to them.
blog

Talking About Text Structure in the PBL Classroom

Enhance PBL by teaching students how to identify text structure how to and use it within their project-based reading and writing.

3 1,768 12,761 views
blog

Personalized PBL: Student-Designed Learning

Project-based learning may be the best vehicle for personalized learning as teachers move beyond "course-based" approaches and open the way for student-designed curriculum.

8 377 12,761 views
article

How to Help an International School: Give the Gift of Books -- and More

Teach children a global lesson by donating books and other needed supplies to schools around the world.

11 43 12,356 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 80,269 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...

3,470 109,255 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 2,230 views
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