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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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Student Choice and Viral Videos

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Browse

President Obama sitting in a wheel chair speaking with a student
blog

School-as-Studio Immerses Students in Creative Problem Solving

Launched in 2010 by a trio of bold thinkers from MIT, NuVu Studio is a secondary school that boasts recent student projects focused on everything from futuristic fashion to biotechnology.

1 2,422 4,533 views
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PBL Pilot: Formative Assessment and PBL

Two fifth grade teachers explain how the driving question and the need to know list are a naturally fit for their PBL pilot program.

9 3,200 15,374 views
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In Australia, a School Designed to Excite and Engage

Check out this Australian elementary school that lives up to its vision of being "a place of optimism, excitement, and challenge."

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Emphasize Real Problems to Boost STEM Learning

Interested in creating more student-driven learning experiences, especially in the STEM? Check out these resources and ideas.

6 1,214 8,081 views
blog

4 Paths to Engaging Authentic Purpose and Audience

Give students a face for their audience and let them find the passion in their message through problem solving, advocacy, raising awareness, or publication.

3 1,339 8,870 views
Students gathered around a table playing a board game
blog

PBL Pilot: 4 Strategies to Implement and Spread PBL in Your School

Two fifth grade teachers advocate trust, respect, and inclusion when sharing the practices and results of their PBL pilot program with on-site colleagues.

8 1,156 6,307 views
blog

Watch and Learn: Observing the PBL Classroom

One classroom observation is just not enough to get the full picture of a project-based learning classroom. Read more on what works when best when observing PBL in action.

3 1,210 7,293 views

Pages

article

Kindergarten Is the Model for Lifelong Learning

Let's keep teaching creativity throughout school and adulthood.

18 1,249 30,748 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 1,141 30,551 views
Boys playing guitar and singing
article

10 Takeaway Tips for Project-Based Learning

At King Middle School and Casco Bay High School, in Portland, Maine, every student works in a widely hailed project-learning method called expeditionary learning. Discover what your school can learn.

2 142 29,763 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 29,171 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 2,900 28,580 views
Graphic of a start flag attached to a hammer
article

Resources for Getting Started With Project-Based Learning

Explore Edutopia's curated compilation of online resources for understanding and beginning to implement project-based learning.

5 6,171 27,989 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 1,789 27,989 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 78,842 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...

3,469 110,970 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...

1 613,728 2,170 views
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