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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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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.


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.


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: 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.


Learning by Doing: A Teacher Transitions Into PBL

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My PBL Failure: 4 Tips for Planning Successful PBL

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What the Heck Is Project-Based Learning?

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What Should "Gold Standard" PBL Include?

Find out why a gold standard in PBL is necessary and how teachers, school leaders, and others can contribute to the conversation around its development.

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

Check out how John Hattie's research is demystifying what works in education and how this relates to project-based learning.

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PBL: Jumping in Headfirst

Join two middle school teachers in their first post of a year-long series about implementing a PBL pilot program in their fifth grade classroom.

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Goal Setting for the New School Year

Schools must help kids "build a self" through a range of opportunity and support accounting for both the big picture and the granular details.

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Getting Into the PBL Groove

Let your students know from day one that they're in a PBL classroom by defining PBL and setting the tone for collaboration, critique, and questioning.

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Critical Thinking Pathways

To teach critical thinking, consider applying six definitions of that discipline to the practices of authentic inquiry, PBL, and integrated studies.

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How a TEDx Mission Connects Students to Real-World Goals

How a TEDx Mission Makes Learning Relevant To Students’ Lives

In a 7th-grade classroom, health lessons are framed as broader "missions" to get students engaged with relevant topics in their community.

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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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Inquiry-Based Learning: Developing Student-Driven Questions
Schools That Work

Inquiry-Based Learning: Developing Student-Driven Questions

Wildwood IB World Magnet School uses the inquiry-based model to put students in charge of their learning, with lessons that stem from student questions and harness the power of curiosity.

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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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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.

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Creating Schoolwide PBL Aligned to Common Core

Eric Isselhardt of Baltimore's Green Street Academy describes how his school is creating PBL curriculum aligned to the Common Core standards.

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Anatomy of a Project: "Soil Superheroes"

Anatomy of a Project: "Soil Superheroes"

Project Learning Assignment: Seventh graders work with community experts to advance their understanding of bacteria in the environment -- and then share their findings with the community at large.

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Project-Based Learning: What Experts Say

Educators and researchers share their views on why project-based learning is an important learning strategy for classrooms.

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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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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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