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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

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Creating a Welcoming and Intellectually Challenging Classroom

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

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Social Justice: A Whole-School Approach

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Hunting for Hacks in a Moldable Classroom

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3 Ways to Plan for Diverse Learners: What Teachers Do

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Browse

blog

PBL Science Empowered by Discussion Forums

ELLs are better positioned to learn science through the COPPELLS model of PBL, which provides online and asynchronous forums for reviewing and discussing course material.

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blog

PBL Pilot: Student Work Showcase

Fifth grade teachers share how students in their PBL pilot program raised funds for microloans, created websites for a nature preserve, and developed business plans.

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Make It Matter: Teach Justice

Students lack experience yet have valid perspectives about bettering their world. They learn when we give them agency to start working toward those changes.

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blog

Just Ask: Strategies for Building Community Partnerships

Whether through questionnaires to parents or networking through colleagues, you can build a resource pool from the wide range of expertise within your community.

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blog

Innovative Practice: 5 Strategies for the Early Learning Classroom

Project- and play-based learning are essential in the early grades to develop creative learning dispositions during the brain's most active period of synaptic growth.

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6 Rules to Break for Better, Deeper-Learning Outcomes

Incorporate deeper learning as you empower students to seek knowledge from many sources, use tools relevant to their lives, and embrace the lessons of failure.

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blog

How to Change the World: Service PBL in the Common Core Literacy Classroom

The language arts are the building blocks when applying Common Core literacy standards to tangible, effects-driven actions in the real world.

18 307 8,360 views

Pages

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.

1 807 39,215 views
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.

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blog

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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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.

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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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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.

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article

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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Pages

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 63,686 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...

2,892 161,724 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 6,232 views