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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

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 7,515 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.

192 10,147 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 11,729 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 12,388 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 1,458 18,581 views
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Technology at the Rock: PBL-Driven Integrated Study

A middle school PBL unit about key 19th century inventions grows into an examination of history, ethics, and the relative values of 21st century technologies.

6 192 3,560 views
blog

A World of Project Ideas (You Can Steal)

To get off to a flying start planning this summer, borrow good project ideas from other teachers and adapt them to fit your context.

8 1,377 38,744 views

Pages

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 2,983 26,357 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 1,139 26,357 views
article

Cooperative Learning Fits into the Calculation

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

3 97 26,093 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 1,204 25,698 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 2,352 25,566 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 1,731 23,853 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 2,710 23,589 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...

2,890 154,977 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 6,592 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.

15 218 61,543 views