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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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Browse

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How Maker Culture Builds Stronger Learning Communities

An innovative youth leadership program called Public Workshop has been partnering with high school students to remake their environment.

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Great Displays in the Great Outdoors: Bringing Student Work to Life

With the help of ceramics and QR codes, a student research project leaves the building for all to enjoy outside on the school grounds.

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What the Heck Is Project-Based Learning?

In project-based learning, students show what they learn as they journey through the unit, interact with its lessons, collaborate with each other, and assess themselves and each other.

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article

Resources for Assessment in Project-Based Learning

Looking for tools and strategies for effective assessment in project-based learning? To support you, we've assembled this guide to helpful resources from Edutopia and beyond.

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article

Resources for Getting Started With Project-Based Learning

Explore Edutopia's curated compilation of online resources for understanding and beginning to implement project-based learning.

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PBL: From Civic Engagement to Student Reflection

Students in one PBL class look outward to examine how the legislative branch of government works, and then turn inward to reflect on their learning.

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blog

The PBL Coordinator and Hands-On Academic Support

PBL schools benefit from a PBL coordinator to locate and organize resources, invite guest speakers, and support students in getting the most out of their projects.

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Pages

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How to Write Effective Driving Questions for Project-Based Learning

Good driving questions are written to help guide the teacher and the student.

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article

Why Is Project-Based Learning Important?

The many merits of using project-based learning in the classroom with our Project-Based Learning Professional Development Guide.

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Project-Based Learning: Success Start to Finish
Schools That Work

What Makes Project-Based Learning a Success?

At this high school in Texas, where every class is project-based, there is a commitment to a consistent process, a focus on relationships, and a commitment to relevance and rigor.

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article

Money Lessons: A Guide to Financial-Literacy Resources

The Internet offers teaching tools on economics for any grade level.

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Kids Feel the Power of Poetry in Performance

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Applying Math Skills to a Real-World Problem
video

Applying Math Skills to a Real-World Problem

Students in Eeva Reeder's geometry class design schools for 2050.

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blog

A World of Project Ideas (You Can Steal)

To get off to a flying start planning this summer, borrow good project ideas from other teachers and adapt them to fit your context.

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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.

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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...

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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...

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