George Lucas Educational Foundation Celebrating our 25th Anniversary!

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

Two young women and man sitting together working on laptops
blog

Hackathons as a New Pedagogy

The hackathon, a hands-on, solution-based development model with similarities to PBL, inquiry-based learning, STEAM, and design thinking, could become the ideal 21st-century learning opportunity.

7 2,289 7,952 views
Boy wearing glasses building with legos
blog

Project-Based Learning vs. Problem-Based Learning vs. X-BL

John Larmer of the Buck Institute for Education clears up any confusion on the difference between project-based learning, problem-based learning, and whatever-else-based learning.

22 11,879 128,544 views
Students walking on a grassy field
blog

PBL Pilot: What Will the Future Bring?

Two fifth grade teachers reflect on their first year with a PBL curriculum, self-evaluating their outcomes and formulating an action plan for next year.

2 1,994 7,289 views
Illo of a Baltimore Oriole with an olive branch in its mouth
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Teachable Moments and Academic Rigor: A Mini-Unit

Teachers present a PBL unit to help students understand, through the violent, tragic events in Ferguson and Baltimore, how public perception affects law enforcement and justice.

4,045 11,486 views
Girl wearing a cap and a boy sitting at a table on stage
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10-Minute Plays: Performing Arts in the History Classroom

By distilling research, writing, and acting into ten-minute plays for an authentic audience, students turn a U.S. history unit into a personally relevant experience.

5 457 6,406 views
Two girls sitting next to each other looking closely at long skinny sticks
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A Quiver of Teaching Strategies (Not Just One Silver Bullet)

To develop a class of risk takers, administrators need to encourage faculty to try new teaching strategies so they model for their students risk taking, flexibility, and resilience when failure happens.

2 1,362 5,522 views
Heart made out of pink post-its surrounded by yellow post-its
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Teaching Empathy Through Design Thinking

While empathy is the first step in the design thinking process, keep your students focused on this necessary element as they move through definition, ideation, prototyping, and testing.

6 4,539 25,610 views

Pages

article

Kindergarten Is the Model for Lifelong Learning

Let's keep teaching creativity throughout school and adulthood.

18 1,258 29,143 views
Chest down, a teen is sitting at a hand-made desk. It's made of a cardboard triangular desktop, three cardboard tubes as desk legs -- with tennis balls at the bottom of two of them -- and two solid, cylindrical wooden rods connecting the desk legs.
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Architecture, Psychology... and Furniture?

Follow the process as psychology and architecture classes join forces to design and build furniture for their high school's new learning spaces.

3,127 28,922 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 2,901 28,701 views
Infographic showing the value of educating students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
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.

7 3,027 28,701 views
Four boys with an adult on the football field crouched around a rocket
article

Integrated Studies Research Review: Evidence-Based Practices and Programs

Evidence points to seven key approaches to integrating curricula that have been shown to be effective.

3 803 28,480 views
Illo of yellow lightbulb with a hook hanging under the base
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Powerful Classroom Lessons: It All Begins With the Hook

The lure or hook when introducing new learning to students matters more than we think.

8 1,743 28,260 views
blog

Bringing Authenticity to the Classroom

Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller examines a few of the ways to bring authenticity into your PBL classroom.

22 3,649 27,377 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.

15 227 80,616 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...

3,471 105,353 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 2,650 views