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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

Browse

Woman sitting outside with her tablet
blog

Life After the Hour of Code

Give students a taste of coding, point them at the resources, and their enthusiasm will let them apply a once-nerdy skill to any subject area.

1 1,027 5,695 views
Five children bundled up in a forest identifying rocks
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Technology, PBL, and Place-Based Education

A project- and placed-based learning school learns to use cutting-edge technology in the classroom while maintaining a close relationship to its stunning natural setting.

8 1,146 4,449 views
Boy standing in front of class pointing at screen
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PBL Pilot: Apps, Tips, and Tricks

Fifth grade teachers share some of their favorite apps for rubrics, editing, and assessment that are streamlining the classroom workflow in their PBL pilot program.

1 2,077 9,441 views
Illo of a Swiss Army Knife with classroom tools
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Quality Instruction + Differentiation: Beyond the Checklist

Differentiate instruction through PBL or UBD by personalizing the driving question, having students design their own outcomes, and using the need to know process.

6 1,280 6,763 views
Illio of a key made up of puzzle pieces
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Collaboration: Key to Innovation

Teaching students about product development uses all the core subjects, and it begins with teachers willing to create their own atmosphere of collaborative innovation.

1 1,482 6,229 views
Girl adding blue food coloring to her volcano project
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5 PBL Best Practices for Redefining the Teacher's Role

PBL changes a teacher's traditional role through framing the learning, helping students develop ideas, consulting as they revise, and encouraging feedback, reflection, and authentic presentations.

5 5,889 22,801 views
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PBL Pilot: Navigating Group Work

Fifth grade teachers use their PBL pilot program to teach the leadership and collaboration skills that future employers are likely to expect of their students.

1 841 4,627 views

Pages

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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 2,898 28,501 views
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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.

2 1,135 28,501 views
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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.

3 44 28,501 views
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Teach Green: Lesson Plans on Recycling

Tap into the Web and learn how to preserve our planet -- and help others learn how, too.

2 6 27,788 views
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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 3,877 27,432 views
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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 1,778 27,076 views
Graphic of a start flag attached to a hammer
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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 6,165 26,185 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 70,362 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...

3,452 170,293 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 2,136 views
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