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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.

Browse

blog

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 1,096 8,705 views
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.

2 925 10,024 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 2,161 9,101 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 2,093 34,162 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.

615 9,101 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.

221 10,552 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.

1 293 8,185 views

Pages

article

Kindergarten Is the Model for Lifelong Learning

Let's keep teaching creativity throughout school and adulthood.

17 262 29,677 views
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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 45 29,677 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 29,414 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 28,886 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 28,358 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!

21 587 27,435 views
blog

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 1,336 26,644 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...

3,438 155,114 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 6,601 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.

15 155 61,597 views