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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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The Hattie Effect: What's Essential for Effective PBL?

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Browse

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Integrated PBL Projects: A Full-Course Meal!

Andrew Miller sees PBL as a source of balanced nutrition, where hitting the standards across many content areas adds up to a full-course meal.

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Turn Genius Hour Into Genius Year

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Supporting the Teacher Maker Movement

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The Happy Eating Place: How Elementary Students Can Run Their Own Business

Fourth and fifth graders develop a service learning project that prepares meals for their school community and donates the proceeds to a county food bank.

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3 Ways to Plan for Diverse Learners: What Teachers Do

Teachers aiming to differentiate learning in their classroom can focus on content, process, and product in giving students opportunities to grow and shine as individuals.

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Roller Coaster Middle School: How One Kid's Crazy Idea Took PBL to Thrilling New Heights

Will Pemble became CoasterDad when his son's backyard roller coaster idea turned into a massive PBL project integrating math, physics, and 21st century skills.

374 8,718 views

Pages

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Social Media in Education: The Power of Facebook

Social media like Facebook provides 21st-century learning opportunities for students -- and a forum for teachers all over to unite and network.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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How to Make Your Classroom a Thinking Space

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Cooperative Learning Fits into the Calculation

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

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Infographic: The Value of a STEM Education

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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.

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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...

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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...

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