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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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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.


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.


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: 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.


Empowering Students to Change the World

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Service Learning: Growing Action From the Roots of Passion

Last comment 4 days 22 hours ago
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Aligning the Projects With the Standards

Last comment 1 week 5 days ago
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Troubleshooting PBL

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Big Ideas for Better Schools: Ten Ways to Improve Education

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Service Learning: Growing Action From the Roots of Passion

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4 384 3,616 views



School-as-Studio Immerses Students in Creative Problem Solving

Launched in 2010 by a trio of bold thinkers from MIT, NuVu Studio is a secondary school that boasts recent student projects focused on everything from futuristic fashion to biotechnology.

1 2,421 3,871 views

PBL Pilot: Formative Assessment and PBL

Two fifth grade teachers explain how the driving question and the need to know list are a naturally fit for their PBL pilot program.

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In Australia, a School Designed to Excite and Engage

Check out this Australian elementary school that lives up to its vision of being "a place of optimism, excitement, and challenge."

5 774 6,058 views

Emphasize Real Problems to Boost STEM Learning

Interested in creating more student-driven learning experiences, especially in the STEM? Check out these resources and ideas.

6 1,199 7,068 views

4 Paths to Engaging Authentic Purpose and Audience

Give students a face for their audience and let them find the passion in their message through problem solving, advocacy, raising awareness, or publication.

3 1,308 7,910 views

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

Two fifth grade teachers advocate trust, respect, and inclusion when sharing the practices and results of their PBL pilot program with on-site colleagues.

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Watch and Learn: Observing the PBL Classroom

One classroom observation is just not enough to get the full picture of a project-based learning classroom. Read more on what works when best when observing PBL in action.

3 1,204 6,732 views


Applying Math Skills to a Real-World Problem

Applying Math Skills to a Real-World Problem

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

15 69 51,095 views

10 Big Ideas of School Leadership

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

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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.

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How Does Project-Based Learning Work?

Tools for understanding the process of planning and building projects, from our Project-Based Learning Professional Development Guide.

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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).

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Project-Based Learning Workshop Activities

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

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Why Should Schools Embrace Integrated Studies?: It Fosters a Way of Learning that Mimics Real Life

Integrated studies allows students to gain knowledge in a truly interdisciplinary fashion.

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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...

3,199 169,085 views

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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