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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.

Discuss

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Browse

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.

137 11,222 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.

1 267 8,794 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.

178 7,847 views
Building Rigorous Projects That Are Core to Learning (Keys to PBL Series Part 2)
video

Building Rigorous Projects That Are Core to Learning (Keys to PBL Series Part 2)

Project-based learning doesn't mean leaving standards behind. Follow these tips to plan projects that challenge your students and align with core learning goals.

193 11,087 views
blog

My PBL Pet Peeves: 4 Common Misconceptions

Andrew Miller firmly addresses some common misunderstandings about PBL, including the ideas that projects are lessons and the public audience can be random.

11 359 11,763 views
Establishing Real-World Connections in Projects (Keys to PBL Series Part 1)
video

Establishing Real-World Connections in Projects (Keys to PBL Series Part 1)

Students are more engaged when learning relates directly to the world they live in. See how to extend your projects beyond the classroom walls.

4 250 13,791 views
blog

Project-Based Learning Through a Maker's Lens

The messy, hands-on Maker classroom is perfect for a PBL unit when the teacher is willing to collaborate, tinker, fix, break, and rebuild alongside students.

14 1,464 18,252 views

Pages

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 26,770 views
article

Resources for Assessment in Project-Based Learning

Looking for tools and strategies for effective assessment in project-based learning? To support you, we've assembled this guide to helpful resources from Edutopia and beyond.

1 1,986 26,365 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 1,502 26,229 views
article

Cooperative Learning Fits into the Calculation

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

3 58 25,688 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.

9 698 25,553 views
blog

How to Make Your Classroom a Thinking Space

Edutopia blogger Suzie Boss shares an excerpt from her book with Jane Krauss, this time considering how a creative workplace can make all the difference for students.

18 1,024 23,931 views
article

Infographic: The Value of a STEM Education

Knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) can be the key to a successful future. Here's why a STEM education matters and how you can inspire students to pursue STEM careers.

6 1,458 23,796 views

Pages

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 62,193 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...

2,890 156,159 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 6,358 views