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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

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Aligning the Projects With the Standards

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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 3,519 views

Troubleshooting PBL

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Powerful Classroom Lessons: It All Begins With the Hook

The lure or hook when introducing new learning to students matters more than we think.

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Life After the Hour of Code

Give students a taste of coding, point them at the resources, and their enthusiasm will let them apply a once-nerdy skill to any subject area.

1 987 5,034 views

Technology, PBL, and Place-Based Education

A project- and placed-based learning school learns to use cutting-edge technology in the classroom while maintaining a close relationship to its stunning natural setting.

8 1,145 4,698 views

PBL Pilot: Apps, Tips, and Tricks

Fifth grade teachers share some of their favorite apps for rubrics, editing, and assessment that are streamlining the classroom workflow in their PBL pilot program.

1 2,077 9,397 views

Quality Instruction + Differentiation: Beyond the Checklist

Differentiate instruction through PBL or UBD by personalizing the driving question, having students design their own outcomes, and using the need to know process.

6 1,277 6,376 views

Collaboration: Key to Innovation

Teaching students about product development uses all the core subjects, and it begins with teachers willing to create their own atmosphere of collaborative innovation.

1 1,473 5,873 views

5 PBL Best Practices for Redefining the Teacher's Role

PBL changes a teacher's traditional role through framing the learning, helping students develop ideas, consulting as they revise, and encouraging feedback, reflection, and authentic presentations.

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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.

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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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Does Spelling Count?

Guest blogger Shira Loewenstein, asked by her students whether spelling counts, comes back with a fascinating question of her own: why is the continuum of learning broken down into a handful of unrelated subjects?

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Big Thinkers on Education

Some of the most compelling visionaries in the world -- from Sir Ken Robinson to Jane Goodall to Martin Scorsese -- are focusing their attention on how to improve education. Get inspired by their big ideas.

2 1,033 39,400 views

Common Ground: Teaching Kids the Benefits Of Working Together

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

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Tips for Using Project-Based Learning to Teach Math Standards

Andrew Miller of the Buck Institute for Education shares some practical ways to make PBL apply to "real-life" math standards.

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Math, PBL and 21st Century Learning for All Students

Independent researcher and evaluator Jason Ravitz presents evidence from a West Virginia study showing that PBL can indeed support 21st century learning skills among math students.

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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...

3,199 168,833 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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