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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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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.


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.


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: 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.


Empowering Students to Change the World

Last comment 1 week 4 days ago
4 554 2,231 views

Service Learning: Growing Action From the Roots of Passion

Last comment 4 days 7 hours ago
4 384 3,616 views

Aligning the Projects With the Standards

Last comment 1 week 5 days ago
2 84 2,762 views

Troubleshooting PBL

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 06:00
2 689 views

Big Ideas for Better Schools: Ten Ways to Improve Education

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6 357 88,408 views

Service Learning: Growing Action From the Roots of Passion

Mon, 11/09/2015 - 10:00
4 384 3,616 views



Start the Year with a Project . . . or Wait?

John Larmer, Editor in Chief at the Buck Institute for Education, weighs the pros and cons of starting the school year with a PBL project.

15 257 5,379 views
How Building Robots Captivates Kids' Imaginations (Is School Enough? Series)

How Making Robots Captivates Kids' Imaginations

Building robots inspires such passion in high school seniors Violet and Kjersti that they've begun mentoring younger robotics teams to teach STEM skills -- and save their school's robotics program.

4 158 8,414 views

From Coverage to "Uncoverage!"

Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller starts the conversation about how effectively teachers may or may not be covering their material - and how PBL can help make it stick.

4 172 2,017 views

Thinking Critically About Social Action Projects

Blogger Suzie Boss outlines ways in which social action projects can increase students' leadership skills.

4 210 5,043 views

Bacon Apart: A Rigorous (and Delicious) Student-Centered Project

Teacher and blogger Shawn Cornally walks us through a student pitch that, through rigor, competences, and standards, turns into prize-winning bacon at the county fair.

3 107 2,353 views

Why Teachers Need to Be Great Storytellers

To garner more community support, blogger Suzie Boss encourages teachers to publicize their success stories and dynamic tales of project-based learning.

8 1,410 9,088 views
Internships Offer Meaningful Real-World Learning (Is School Enough? Series)

Internships Offer Meaningful Real-World Learning

16-year-old Noah finds purpose and learns valuable career skills working at a nonprofit two full days a week, while protecting and restoring his local watershed. Internships with deep impact are a key element at his high school, San Diego Met, part...

185 1,345 views



How to Create a Classroom Literature Circle

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

4 11,444 views

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.

13 792 11,107 views

Ripped from the Headlines: How to Turn Current Events into Real-World Projects

Suzie Boss shares ways teachers can use current events and news in the classroom, and helpful links to get you started.

11 268 11,107 views

Seymour Papert: Project-Based Learning

Dr. Seymour Papert describes learning environments in which children collaborate around meaningful projects and powerful ideas.

1 267 11,107 views

My PBL Failure: 4 Tips for Planning Successful PBL

Here are four lessons learned from a failed PBL unit: align with the school calendar, allow planning time, carefully create the topic and guiding question, and collaborate with peers.

8 669 10,939 views

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.

14 402 10,770 views

The Happy Eating Place: How Elementary Students Can Run Their Own Business

Fourth and fifth graders develop a service learning project that prepares meals for their school community and donates the proceeds to a county food bank.

1 1,833 10,770 views



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 67,231 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...

3,199 169,085 views

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 2,353 views
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