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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

blog

From Modern Farm to Sustainable Table: Teaching STEM and Humanities with Authenticity

Follow a ninth grade interdisciplinary PBL class from an on-site sustainability study through designing hydroponic gardens, growing food, and an Iron Chef cook-off.

214 3,396 views
blog

Using Entrepreneurship to Transform Student Work

Guest blogger Raleigh Werberger, a high school history and humanities teacher, describes a PBL unit that flipped a class from 'just good enough' to creating a working business model and seeking funds to launch a startup.

885 5,162 views
blog

Innovative Education: Make Room for "What Ifs"

Edutopia blogger Suzie Boss highlights a science project where eighth-graders created a "robohand" after their teacher invited them to solve a real-world problem.

2 1,584 11,675 views
blog

AP and PBL: It Works!

Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller, challenging the assumption that PBL is incompatible with AP expectations, suggests three ways of making them more synergistic: embedding assessments within the project, using past exams for review, and targeting...

383 4,075 views
blog

How to Grow an Engaging Learning Environment

As the school garden movement continues to grow, Edutopia blogger Suzie Boss suggests it's worth taking a closer look at the strategies that are yielding positive results.

1 532 5,434 views
article

Core Strategies for Innovation and Reform in Learning

See an overview of Edutopia's core strategies, including project-based learning, social-emotional learning, comprehensive assessment, technology integration, integrated studies and teacher development.

4 344 311,291 views
blog

How to Help Your Students Develop Data Literacy

Blogger Suzie Boss offers up ideas and resources for helping students learn how to interpret, understand, and use data to drive inquiry.

1 806 5,298 views

Pages

article

From Curriculum to Communication, a School Immerses Itself in Tech

At Mary Scroggs Elementary School, every day is a technology day.

97 73 20,499 views
Anatomy of a Project: "Soil Superheroes"
video

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.

21 20,092 views
blog

The Role of PBL in Making the Shift to Common Core

Guest blogger Sara Hallermann, Curriculum Development Manager at Buck Institute for Education, looks through the lens of PBL to show how six of the Common Core's big ideas are compatible with this activity-centered approach.

9 1,002 19,956 views
blog

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.

5 444 19,821 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 2,976 19,821 views
article

Project-Based Learning Research: Annotated Bibliography

Dig deeper into the specific articles, studies, and reports included in our project-based learning research review.

34 19,685 views
blog

Good-to-Go Projects for 2014

Edutopia blogger Suzie Boss proposes teachers start with a ready-made plan they can adapt to fit within the context of their classroom.

3 1,871 19,549 views

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.

15 155 61,905 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...

2,890 155,985 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 6,385 views