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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

Browse

article

Core Strategies for Innovation and Reform in Learning

See an overview of Edutopia's core strategies, including project-based learning, social-emotional learning, comprehensive assessment, technology integration, integrated studies and teacher development.

1 340 332,446 views
blog

How to Help Your Students Develop Data Literacy

Blogger Suzie Boss offers up ideas and resources for helping students learn how to interpret, understand, and use data to drive inquiry.

1 812 6,013 views
blog

How to Manage the Angry Birds on Your Project

Guest blogger Chris Hare focuses on communication, a critical element of PBL, through the lens of the Angry Birds game and proposes different strategies for working with red, orange, black and blue birds within your group.

5 176 1,672 views
blog

Maximizing Profit: The PBL Classroom Without PBL

Danielle Lynch of Sammamish High School offers a glimpse of the 21st century skills that remain on display in her problem-based learning math classroom even when students aren't specifically tasked with a PBL project.

4 252 6,678 views
blog

How PBL Prepares Students for CCSS Test Performance Tasks: Part 2 - PBL is Already Aligned for Assessment

In the second of two blogposts, John Larmer of the Buck Institute for Education reviews how the eight essential elements of PBL can fit (sometimes neatly, sometimes not) within the expectations of Common Core assessment.

376 1,783 views
blog

How PBL Prepares Students for CCSS Test Performance Tasks: Part 1 - Defining the Tasks

Guest blogger John Larmer of the Buck Institute for Education, in the first of two blogposts, defines Common Core test performance tasks and how looks at teachers can apply project-based learning to their assessment practice.

6 236 2,118 views
blog

How to Find a Home for Service-Learning Projects

Blogger Suzie Boss highlights one high school example of what quality service-learning looks like in practice.

1 227 1,558 views

Pages

article

Students Thrive on Cooperation and Problem Solving

Project-based learning teaches kids the collaborative and critical-thinking abilities they'll need to compete.

22 36 25,265 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!

21 584 25,153 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.

7 664 24,931 views
blog

Common Core in Action: Teaching Critical Thinking and Questioning

Edutopia blogger Heather Wolpert-Gawron outlines how project-based learning, with a focus on the common core, and iPads engaged her students in critical thinking and questioning.

6 1,568 24,708 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.

2 402 24,708 views
article

Cooperative Learning Fits into the Calculation

Master teacher Chris Opitz shares resources for integrating social and emotional learning into math class.

3 57 23,818 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 34 23,706 views

Pages

We Love PBL Pinterest Board

Visit a curated collection of resources on project-based learning -- including tips and tricks for newbies and veterans -- on Edutopia's pinboard on Pinterest.

27 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...

2,884 148,026 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 7,680 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.

15 150 60,991 views