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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.

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

Building Rigorous Projects That Are Core to Learning (Keys to PBL Series Part 2)
video

Building Rigorous Projects That Are Core to Learning (Keys to PBL Series Part 2)

Project-based learning doesn't mean leaving standards behind. Follow these tips to plan projects that challenge your students and align with core learning goals.

207 6,114 views
blog

My PBL Pet Peeves: 4 Common Misconceptions

Andrew Miller firmly addresses some common misunderstandings about PBL, including the ideas that projects are lessons and the public audience can be random.

11 408 9,460 views
Establishing Real-World Connections in Projects (Keys to PBL Series Part 1)
video

Establishing Real-World Connections in Projects (Keys to PBL Series Part 1)

Students are more engaged when learning relates directly to the world they live in. See how to extend your projects beyond the classroom walls.

4 489 8,681 views
blog

Project-Based Learning Through a Maker's Lens

The messy, hands-on Maker classroom is perfect for a PBL unit when the teacher is willing to collaborate, tinker, fix, break, and rebuild alongside students.

14 2,146 17,919 views
blog

Technology at the Rock: PBL-Driven Integrated Study

A middle school PBL unit about key 19th century inventions grows into an examination of history, ethics, and the relative values of 21st century technologies.

6 241 3,006 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.

8 5,755 35,281 views
blog

Grit Happens in PBL

Looking for practical applications of grit? Try project-based learning and move beyond character education to teach students how stuff gets done in the real world.

7 2,563 6,893 views

Pages

article

10 Big Ideas of School Leadership

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

41 495 39,066 views
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Taking It to the Class: Green Projects for the Classroom

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

8 21 38,843 views
article

Free Resources and Tools for Replicating Project-Based Learning

Educators from High Tech High in San Diego, California, and the Whitfield Career Academy's 21st Century Learning Academy in Dalton, Georgia, have provided these resources for you to use in your own school.

1 439 37,953 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.

8 5,755 35,281 views
article

Project-Based Learning: A Short History

When project-based learning is infused with technology, it may look and feel like a 21st-century idea, but it's built on a venerable foundation.

6 278 33,723 views
article

Project-Based Learning Workshop Activities

Hands-on lessons you can adapt for your PBL workshops, from our Project-Based Learning Professional Development Guide.

10 33,389 views
article

Common Ground: Teaching Kids the Benefits Of Working Together

Cooperative learning helps create the essential skill of working (and compromising) within a group.

27 32,722 views

Pages

We Love PBL Pinterest Board

Visit a curated collection of resources on project-based learning -- including tips and tricks for newbies and veterans -- on Edutopia's pinboard on Pinterest.

27 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...

3,431 148,026 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 7,671 views
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.

15 150 60,991 views