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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

Resources for Getting Started With Project-Based Learning

Last comment 1 week 3 days ago
9 7,951 45,140 views

Student-Led Projects in Early Elementary

Last comment 2 weeks 4 days ago
8 1,116 views

Assessment in Making

Last comment 1 week 5 days ago
2 104 4,552 views

Project-Based Learning for Primary Grades

Tue, 11/24/2009 - 12:41
22 10 12,217 views

Finding an Authentic Goal for Your PBL Classroom

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 13:16
1 3,060 views

Resources for Getting Started With Project-Based Learning

Mon, 07/11/2016 - 10:13
9 7,951 45,140 views

Browse

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.

196 828 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 2,509 8,081 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 3,110 views
blog

Making the Most of Mentors for Students

Blogger Suzie Boss provides pointers for teachers on how best to utilize adult mentors who help their students with projects.

348 2,903 views
blog

Are School Librarians Part of Your PBL Dream Team?

If librarians know about upcoming projects, they can help to spark curiosity even before project launch day.

334 7,672 views
Rigorous Project-Based Learning Transforms AP Courses
video

Rigorous Project-Based Learning Transforms AP Courses

Through a project called Knowledge in Action, researchers at the University of Washington have been exploring whether project-based learning can help high school students with diverse learning styles understand content more deeply in advanced...

1 236 15,116 views
article

Knowledge in Action Research: Next Steps

The Knowledge in Action project is underway with plans to refine curricula, improve learning tools, develop formative assessments, understand challenges to implementation, and expand into additional subject areas.

5 3 3,732 views

Pages

Boy at computer and another using a tablet and stylus
article

Career and Technical Education: Research Roundup

Evidence of success in lowering the dropout rate and raising grades.

1 19 12,217 views
blog

Culinary Arts Integration: 12 PBL Activities Students Can Sink Their Teeth Into

Use the study and preparation of food as a cross-curricular PBL modality in math, chemistry, social studies, history, or language arts classes.

3 1,380 11,803 views
article

How to Approach Moral Issues in the Classroom

Students want to talk about the truth. Here are some of the best ways for teachers to help them do so.

4 11,803 views
blog

Avoiding the Flop: 5 Questions to Guide Projects and Inquiry

To be an effective guide on the side, plan for every aspect of the project while remaining open to student ideas, needs, and understanding.

2 825 11,596 views
blog

When School’s Out, PBL Opens New Doors to Learning

Blogger Suzie Boss explains how making PBL part of out-of-school time gives youth new opportunities to become leaders, thinkers, and problem-solvers.

1 97 11,596 views
Two young girls are standing on grass next to a table with paper, stamp ink, crayons, and glove-like cloth that they're using as stamps. One girl is pushing her glove into the stamp ink, and the other girl is holding up her glove.
blog

Making Room for Children's Ideas Through PBL

An educator recognizes the value of PBL while watching his young son play creatively with engineering design, scaling, iterating, imagining, selecting materials, and mapping steps toward a goal.

3 2,508 11,388 views
photo of young students working on a project
blog

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.

8 674 11,388 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 80,962 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...

3,470 108,915 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 2,281 views
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