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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

Wearing safety goggles, a boy working a drill while a girl steadies the project using two hands
article

Project-Based Learning Research Review: Evidence-Based Components of Success

There are some critical elements to consider when applying project-based learning in the classroom -- here are some recommendations for research-proven steps.

334 33,367 views
Table covered with newspaper and teacher showing something to a boy; girl wearing gloves handling a trout; boy with safety googles looking on
article

Project-Based Learning Research Review

Studies have proven that when implemented well, project-based learning (PBL) can increase retention of content and improve students' attitudes towards learning, among other benefits. Edutopia's PBL research review explores the vast body of research...

1 1,420 112,638 views
Two boys and a mentor student watching water pour into brightly painted plastic cups causing the wheel to turn
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Project-Based Learning Research Review: Avoiding Pitfalls

The challenges many teachers face in implementing project-based learning well are not to be taken lightly, but we've compiled a list of strategies to avert the most common issues educators face.

2 172 10,111 views
Three girls smiling and laughing around a laptop computer
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Project-Based Learning Research Review: Best Practices Across Disciplines

What does project-based learning look like in math, science, or economics? On this page you'll find concrete examples of successful projects in specific subjects.

1 241 17,593 views
Three teenagers and an adult are sitting around a table, looking at a lot of pins standing up in a pan, smiling.
blog

Troubleshooting PBL

The perfect PBL experience is ever-changing, so be ready to ask questions, reflect, and revamp your approach while showing complete faith in your students' abilities.

2 546 2,225 views
Two teenage girls are sitting at a small circular table with a textbook laid out, looking at a laptop. They're sitting next to a glass wall that looks out to the school parking lot.
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Empowering Students to Change the World

By creating real-world projects with visible and positive outcomes, you can immerse your students in learning 21st-century skills while developing their sense of altruism.

4 791 4,250 views
Teacher standing talking with a student as they watch a girl pouring liquid into cups at a counter
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Aligning the Projects With the Standards

PBL can align with CCSS when teachers, knowing their kids' interests and abilities, let projects evolve to meet student needs as well as the standards.

6 226 7,482 views

Pages

Project-Based Learning: An Overview
video

Project-Based Learning: An Overview

Seymour Papert, a distinguished professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is among a growing group of scholars who support project-based learning.

64 367 71,385 views
article

Powerful Learning: Studies Show Deep Understanding Derives from Collaborative Methods

Cooperative learning and inquiry-based teaching yield big dividends in the classroom. And now we have the research to prove it.

12 191 68,958 views
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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.

3 6,305 66,127 views
Boy at monitors and mixing board for school broadcast
article

Ten Tips for Personalized Learning via Technology

To challenge and support each child at his or her own level, the educators of Forest Lake Elementary deploy a powerful array of digital-technology tools. Discover what your school can learn.

30 3,133 65,116 views
article

Taking It to the Class: Green Projects for the Classroom

Try these great lesson ideas for environmentally conscious teachers (and their lucky students).

8 104 64,509 views
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.

12 8,654 62,487 views
article

10 Big Ideas of School Leadership

Middle school principal Mike McCarthy shares 30 years of wisdom on how to run a school well.

41 996 61,274 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 80,080 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...

3,470 109,403 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 2,225 views
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