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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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PBL: What Does It Take for a Project to Be "Authentic"?

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Zombie-Based Learning -- "Braaaaaaains!"

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PBL Pilot: 4 Strategies to Implement and Spread PBL in Your School

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Browse

blog

Re-Imagining the Comprehensive High School

High school teacher Adrienne Curtis Dickinson launches Sammamish High School's blog series about the seven key elements for integrating PBL across disciplines, grades and courses.

1 196 4,320 views
Reinventing a Public High School with Problem-Based Learning
video

Building the Foundation to Transform a Public High School to PBL

Sammamish High School is in the midst of a five-year process to change from traditional teaching to an entirely problem-based curriculum. Follow the journey of the teachers, administrators, and students as they reinvent their school.

4 242 6,480 views
blog

21st-Century Projects Inspire Global Citizenship Plus Creativity

This is the second in a special Edutopia blog series about developing 21st century skills through project-based learning. In the first post, "Yes, You Can Teach and Assess Creativity!", blogger Andrew Miller offered classroom strategies to encourage...

1 363 5,130 views
Real-World Internships Lead to College and Career Readiness
video

Real-World Internships Lead to College and Career Readiness

At MC2 STEM High School in Cleveland, Ohio, students are paired with industry mentors in order to learn science, technology, engineering, and math skills.

50 2,160 views
blog

Can PBL Help Pave the Way to College Success?

Blogger Suzie Boss puts the spotlight on College YES, a nonprofit that encourages urban students to take a lead on improving their own education through technology.

2 265 2,025 views
blog

Ideas for Digital Citizenship PBL Projects

Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller suggests using the PBL model to teach students the values of digital citizenship.

3 504 15,919 views
blog

Green STEM Initiatives Spark Innovative Learning

Blogger Suzie Boss explores how to encourage more high-energy, cross-disciplinary thinking among today's students.

160 2,430 views

Pages

blog

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.

1 351 9,444 views
blog

Roller Coaster Middle School: How One Kid's Crazy Idea Took PBL to Thrilling New Heights

Will Pemble became CoasterDad when his son's backyard roller coaster idea turned into a massive PBL project integrating math, physics, and 21st century skills.

375 9,444 views
Mothers Discuss Their Kids' Digital Lives
video

Mothers Discuss Their Kids' Digital Lives

A group of friends talk about their roles as parents, their concerns, and their amazement when it comes to their teenagers' digital skills.

1 2 9,444 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?

4 390 9,309 views
article

Personal Learning Networks Are Virtual Lockers for Schoolkids

Students drive their education with custom-made Web pages equipped with RSS feeds.

12 30 9,309 views
article

The New Drill: Teaching Educators How to Improve Reading Levels

On-site coaches focus on teachers, not students, in the battle to boost literacy.

4 1 9,309 views
article

Career Tech Meets College Prep: Ten Tips to Get Going

Practical advice for taking those first steps.

2 10 9,174 views

Pages

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.

15 155 62,058 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...

2,871 155,416 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 6,345 views