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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

Browse

How a TEDx Mission Connects Students to Real-World Goals
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How a TEDx Mission Makes Learning Relevant To Students’ Lives

In a 7th-grade classroom, health lessons are framed as broader "missions" to get students engaged with relevant topics in their community.

321 5,237 views
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Integrated PBL Projects: A Full-Course Meal!

Andrew Miller sees PBL as a source of balanced nutrition, where hitting the standards across many content areas adds up to a full-course meal.

2 356 8,326 views
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Turn Genius Hour Into Genius Year

Why limit Genius Hour to a small block of time? Through conversations and dares, students can turn this creative, self-directed approach into a life practice.

14 717 8,719 views
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Supporting the Teacher Maker Movement

In order for teachers to encourage student innovation, they need the freedom to be innovative as well. Eight ways school leaders can support faculty who want to develop engaging curriculum.

2 603 10,199 views
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The Happy Eating Place: How Elementary Students Can Run Their Own Business

Fourth and fifth graders develop a service learning project that prepares meals for their school community and donates the proceeds to a county food bank.

1 351 9,393 views
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3 Ways to Plan for Diverse Learners: What Teachers Do

Teachers aiming to differentiate learning in their classroom can focus on content, process, and product in giving students opportunities to grow and shine as individuals.

37 1,575 37,574 views
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Roller Coaster Middle School: How One Kid's Crazy Idea Took PBL to Thrilling New Heights

Will Pemble became CoasterDad when his son's backyard roller coaster idea turned into a massive PBL project integrating math, physics, and 21st century skills.

375 9,393 views

Pages

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Resources for Project-Based Learning

Free materials and downloads for building rigorous projects for all grade levels, from our Project-Based Learning Professional Development Guide.

4 21 30,328 views
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Kindergarten Is the Model for Lifelong Learning

Let's keep teaching creativity throughout school and adulthood.

17 262 30,059 views
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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.

9 661 29,120 views
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Social Media in Education: The Power of Facebook

Social media like Facebook provides 21st-century learning opportunities for students -- and a forum for teachers all over to unite and network.

37 173 28,851 views
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Project-Based Learning Research Review: Evidence-Based Components of Success

There are some critical elements to consider when applying project-based learning in the classroom -- here are some recommendations for research-proven steps.

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Zombie-Based Learning -- "Braaaaaaains!"

From PBL to ZBL, Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller explores a new twist to project-based learning: the pedagogical benefits of Zombies!

21 587 27,241 views
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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.

24 1,341 26,570 views

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.

15 155 62,326 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...

2,889 154,876 views
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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 6,311 views