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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.

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

Powerful Classroom Lessons: It All Begins With the Hook

Last comment 1 day 11 hours ago
6 1,690 8,504 views

Watch and Learn: Observing the PBL Classroom

Last comment 2 weeks 6 days ago
3 1,024 4,925 views

Technology, PBL, and Place-Based Education

Last comment 1 week 5 days ago
8 1,117 4,529 views

Browse

blog

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.

2 923 10,351 views
blog

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 2,154 8,670 views
blog

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 2,024 32,346 views
blog

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.

614 9,187 views
Embedding Assessment Throughout the Project (Keys to PBL Series Part 5)
video

Embedding Assessment Throughout the Project (Keys to PBL Series Part 5)

Assessment can be integrated seamlessly into project-based learning. Find tools for measuring student understanding from the beginning to the end of a project.

219 10,351 views
Facilitating Learning in a Student-Driven Environment (Keys to PBL Series Part 4)
video

Facilitating Learning in a Student-Driven Environment (Keys to PBL Series Part 4)

When they are directly involved in planning and steering projects, students are more invested in their learning. Get ideas for empowering your students to work independently.

1 291 7,764 views
Structuring Collaboration for Student Success (Keys to PBL Series Part 3)
video

Structuring Collaboration for Student Success (Keys to PBL Series Part 3)

PBL provides a unique opportunity to help students practice critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity. Learn how to optimize the environment for teamwork in your classroom.

229 7,376 views

Pages

article

Kindergarten Is the Model for Lifelong Learning

Let's keep teaching creativity throughout school and adulthood.

17 262 29,629 views
article

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 19 29,370 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.

9 661 29,111 views
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.

12 44 28,335 views
article

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.

197 27,429 views
blog

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!

21 586 27,170 views
article

Research-Supported PBL Practices

At one New Tech Network high school, strategies backed by research make project-based learning effective and engaging for teachers and students.

2 393 26,394 views

Pages

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...

2,890 152,801 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 6,729 views
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.

15 154 61,457 views