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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.

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

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Browse

blog

Are School Librarians Part of Your PBL Dream Team?

If librarians know about upcoming projects, they can help to spark curiosity even before project launch day.

3 4,783 views
Rigorous Project-Based Learning Transforms AP Courses
video

Rigorous Project-Based Learning Transforms AP Courses

Through a project called Knowledge in Action, researchers at the University of Washington have been exploring whether project-based learning can help high school students with diverse learning styles understand content more deeply in advanced...

1 2 8,704 views
article

Knowledge in Action Research: Next Steps

The Knowledge in Action project is underway with plans to refine curricula, improve learning tools, develop formative assessments, understand challenges to implementation, and expand into additional subject areas.

6 1,437 views
article

Knowledge in Action Research: Results to Date

According to the Knowledge in Action research project, students taking a project-based learning (PBL) course do as well or better on the AP test, and in some cases significantly better, when compared to control classes.

1 1 3,061 views
article

Knowledge in Action Research: Project-Based Learning Course Design

The Knowledge in Action team used two key design principles when designing the AP Government coursework: 1) Projects are the central element, or spine, of the course, and 2) learning cycles (dubbed "looping" by the participating teachers), enable...

1 6,122 views
article

Knowledge in Action Research Helping to Make the Case for Rigorous Project-Based Learning

This research project by the University of Washington in collaboration with The George Lucas Educational Foundation is studying the impact on student learning of a PBL approach to Advanced Placement courses.

1 2 9,374 views
article

Knowledge in Action Research: Resources

Resources and background information about the Knowledge in Action team, the project, and the results.

1,725 views

Pages

article

Speed 101: Motorcycle Racing as Real-World Physics Lab

Isaac Newton hops aboard a two-wheeled teaching tool.

18 18,270 views
Grand Slam: Performance Poetry Engages Students
video

Grand Slam: Performance Poetry Engages Students

Global Writes, a Bronx-based nonprofit, helps students reach new heights in literacy and life through live poetry competitions.

1 18,174 views
article

Internet Explorers: Virtual Field Trips Are More Than Just Money Savers

These online adventures emphasize student participation and standards-based curriculum.

9 5 18,174 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 17,887 views
article

10 Takeaway Tips for Project-Based Learning

At King Middle School and Casco Bay High School, in Portland, Maine, every student works in a widely hailed project-learning method called expeditionary learning. Discover what your school can learn.

2 2 17,791 views
article

A Real Learning Curve: Catapults Demonstrate the Quadratic Equation

Algebra students use their math skills to control the arc of launched objects.

13 17,791 views
article

Going Green: Designing Eco-Friendly Schools

In Chicago's urban sprawl, an environmentally friendly school blooms.

9 16,930 views

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