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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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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.


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.


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: 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.


Learning by Doing: A Teacher Transitions Into PBL

Last comment 2 hours 13 min ago
15 3,304 9,128 views

My PBL Failure: 4 Tips for Planning Successful PBL

Last comment 2 weeks 3 days ago
8 603 9,008 views

What the Heck Is Project-Based Learning?

Last comment 6 days 8 hours ago
39 14,356 71,823 views

Learning by Doing: A Teacher Transitions Into PBL

Mon, 09/21/2015 - 06:00
15 3,304 9,128 views

How Do You Make Math REAL?

Thu, 10/08/2015 - 12:10
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PBL: From Civic Engagement to Student Reflection

Students in one PBL class look outward to examine how the legislative branch of government works, and then turn inward to reflect on their learning.

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The PBL Coordinator and Hands-On Academic Support

PBL schools benefit from a PBL coordinator to locate and organize resources, invite guest speakers, and support students in getting the most out of their projects.

125 800 views

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.

122 1,280 views

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.

459 4,320 views

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.

4 234 1,280 views

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.

3 206 1,280 views

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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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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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.

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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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Kindergarten Is the Model for Lifelong Learning

Let's keep teaching creativity throughout school and adulthood.

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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!

23 2,213 29,396 views

Deeper Learning: Highlighting Student Work

Ron Berger, Chief Program Officer of the Expeditionary Learning schools, opens his portfolio of student work to demonstrate the immediate and longterm benefits of deeper learning.

9 575 29,396 views

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 2,681 28,597 views



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.

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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...

3,199 164,921 views

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...

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