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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

4 Practices for Increasing Student Engagement

Last comment 6 days 3 hours ago
3 246 9,021 views

Design Thinking and PBL

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PBL for Non-English Speakers?

Last comment 3 weeks 3 days ago
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Turn Genius Hour Into Genius Year

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 06:11
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How to Build Students' Creative Confidence

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 13:06
5 1,575 10,989 views

6 Strategies for Differentiated Instruction in Project-Based Learning

Fri, 01/08/2016 - 06:00
19 709 187,392 views

Browse

blog

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.

1 844 4,434 views
blog

Social Justice: A Whole-School Approach

Read about a social justice-based school that addresses larger issues as a learning community, builds curriculum around service learning, and regularly involves families.

2 358 3,856 views
A photo of 3 high school girls working in the makerspace.
blog

How Maker Culture Builds Stronger Learning Communities

An innovative youth leadership program called Public Workshop has been partnering with high school students to remake their environment.

1,854 4,820 views
A photo of a group of students looking at the outdoor display.
blog

Great Displays in the Great Outdoors: Bringing Student Work to Life

With the help of ceramics and QR codes, a student research project leaves the building for all to enjoy outside on the school grounds.

7 624 3,470 views
Graphic of lightbulb
article

Resources for Assessment in Project-Based Learning

Looking for tools and strategies for effective assessment in project-based learning? To support you, we've assembled this guide to helpful resources from Edutopia and beyond.

2 5,100 47,812 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 27,376 views
An illustration of a giant lightbulb being suspended on a crane.
blog

PBL: From Civic Engagement to Student Reflection

Students in one PBL class look outward to examine how the legislative branch of government works, and then turn inward to reflect on their learning.

2 266 4,627 views

Pages

blog

Project-Based Learning Through a Maker's Lens

The messy, hands-on Maker classroom is perfect for a PBL unit when the teacher is willing to collaborate, tinker, fix, break, and rebuild alongside students.

14 1,020 24,484 views
article

Project-Based Learning: What Experts Say

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

58 24,484 views
blog

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.

6 1,551 24,292 views
blog

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.

11 526 24,292 views
blog

Curious Homework: An Inquiry Project for Students and Parents

Blogger Suzie Boss presents real examples of how to continue to engage student curiosity in school after the homework projects are over.

8 3,009 23,328 views
blog

Authentic Assessment in Action

Music teacher Mark Wilbert continues Sammamish High School's blog series about the seven key elements for integrating PBL with an account of how an authentic assessment project increased student buy-in.

6 673 22,942 views
Establishing Real-World Connections in Projects (Keys to PBL Series Part 1)
video

Establishing Real-World Connections in Projects (Keys to PBL Series Part 1)

Students are more engaged when learning relates directly to the world they live in. See how to extend your projects beyond the classroom walls.

9 348 22,171 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 77,116 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...

3,469 113,554 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 2,312 views
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