Facebook
Edutopia on Facebook
Twitter
Edutopia on Twitter
Google+
Edutopia on Google+
Pinterest
Edutopia on Pinterest Follow Me on Pinterest
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.

PrintPrint
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Share
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

6 Strategies for Differentiated Instruction in Project-Based Learning

Last comment 2 days 20 hours ago
15 5,430 172,181 views

Mindful Facilitation: Don’t Do Something, Just Stand There

Last comment 22 hours 45 min ago
7 381 3,761 views

Help needed: Social Studies in an Alternative Classroom

Last comment 3 weeks 3 days ago
5 282 views

Mindful Facilitation: Don’t Do Something, Just Stand There

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 06:00
7 381 3,761 views

Resources and Downloads for STEM

Wed, 01/13/2016 - 10:00
1 1,094 6,068 views

Browse

Boy wearing glasses building with legos
blog

Project-Based Learning vs. Problem-Based Learning vs. X-BL

John Larmer of the Buck Institute for Education clears up any confusion on the difference between project-based learning, problem-based learning, and whatever-else-based learning.

21 11,711 109,214 views
Students walking on a grassy field
blog

PBL Pilot: What Will the Future Bring?

Two fifth grade teachers reflect on their first year with a PBL curriculum, self-evaluating their outcomes and formulating an action plan for next year.

2 1,993 7,293 views
Illo of a Baltimore Oriole with an olive branch in its mouth
blog

Teachable Moments and Academic Rigor: A Mini-Unit

Teachers present a PBL unit to help students understand, through the violent, tragic events in Ferguson and Baltimore, how public perception affects law enforcement and justice.

4,012 10,495 views
Girl wearing a cap and a boy sitting at a table on stage
blog

10-Minute Plays: Performing Arts in the History Classroom

By distilling research, writing, and acting into ten-minute plays for an authentic audience, students turn a U.S. history unit into a personally relevant experience.

5 445 5,336 views
Two girls sitting next to each other looking closely at long skinny sticks
blog

A Quiver of Teaching Strategies (Not Just One Silver Bullet)

To develop a class of risk takers, administrators need to encourage faculty to try new teaching strategies so they model for their students risk taking, flexibility, and resilience when failure happens.

2 1,363 5,514 views
Heart made out of pink post-its surrounded by yellow post-its
blog

Teaching Empathy Through Design Thinking

While empathy is the first step in the design thinking process, keep your students focused on this necessary element as they move through definition, ideation, prototyping, and testing.

6 4,003 17,609 views
President Obama sitting in a wheel chair speaking with a student
blog

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 3,913 views

Pages

Graphic of lightbulb
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.

2 5,070 45,002 views
Inquiry-Based Learning: Developing Student-Driven Questions
Schools That Work

Inquiry-Based Learning: Developing Student-Driven Questions

Wildwood IB World Magnet School uses the inquiry-based model to put students in charge of their learning, with lessons that stem from student questions and harness the power of curiosity.

2 4,506 42,156 views
Students and community members framing a building.
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.

1 402 41,622 views
blog

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?

18 5,534 39,666 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.

58 39,488 views
article

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 1,007 39,310 views
blog

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.

9 837 38,776 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 70,260 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...

3,452 170,047 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 2,133 views
Join the movement for change