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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.

Browse

Inquiry-Based Learning: Developing Student-Driven Questions
Schools That Work

Inquiry-Based Learning: Developing Student-Driven Questions

Wildwood IB World Magnet School uses the inquiry-based model to put students in charge of their learning, with lessons that stem from student questions and harness the power of curiosity.

2 4,548 54,965 views
Four students sitting across from each other, one girl standing in the middle, all with post-it's on their foreheads
blog

5 Ways of Bringing Student Passions to Student Learning

Learning and learning outcomes are more meaningful to students when teachers engage their passions, unleash their creativity, and give them time and tools for innovation.

3 2,149 14,549 views
photo of a young woman with a spirograph-like toy
blog

What the Heck Is Project-Based Learning?

In project-based learning, students show what they learn as they journey through the unit, interact with its lessons, collaborate with each other, and assess themselves and each other.

41 14,741 87,297 views
blog

Creating a Welcoming and Intellectually Challenging Classroom

Check out these important strategies for creating an inclusive learning space that also challenges students with rigorous thinking and projects.

5 3,885 30,109 views
Two young women and man sitting together working on laptops
blog

Hackathons as a New Pedagogy

The hackathon, a hands-on, solution-based development model with similarities to PBL, inquiry-based learning, STEAM, and design thinking, could become the ideal 21st-century learning opportunity.

7 2,286 7,477 views
Boy wearing glasses building with legos
blog

Project-Based Learning vs. Problem-Based Learning vs. X-BL

John Larmer of the Buck Institute for Education clears up any confusion on the difference between project-based learning, problem-based learning, and whatever-else-based learning.

22 11,874 123,671 views
Students walking on a grassy field
blog

PBL Pilot: What Will the Future Bring?

Two fifth grade teachers reflect on their first year with a PBL curriculum, self-evaluating their outcomes and formulating an action plan for next year.

2 1,993 7,679 views

Pages

Students and community members framing a building.
article

Free Resources and Tools for Replicating Project-Based Learning

Educators from High Tech High in San Diego, California, and the Whitfield Career Academy's 21st Century Learning Academy in Dalton, Georgia, have provided these resources for you to use in your own school.

1 419 38,394 views
Five Keys to Rigorous Project-Based Learning
video

5 Keys to Rigorous Project-Based Learning

Well-designed project-based learning (PBL) has been shown to result in deeper learning and engaged, self-directed learners. Learn more about the five core elements of successful PBL.

21 302 36,980 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.

243 35,970 views
blog

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.

10 594 34,757 views
Wearing safety goggles, a boy working a drill while a girl steadies the project using two hands
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.

334 33,343 views
blog

Tips for Using Project-Based Learning to Teach Math Standards

Andrew Miller of the Buck Institute for Education shares some practical ways to make PBL apply to "real-life" math standards.

3 349 32,938 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!

23 2,270 32,736 views

Pages

Girls testing wing strength using plywood
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.

15 225 80,022 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...

3,470 109,727 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 2,223 views
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