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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.


Empowering Students to Change the World

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Service Learning: Growing Action From the Roots of Passion

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4 384 3,519 views

Aligning the Projects With the Standards

Last comment 1 week 2 days ago
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Big Ideas for Better Schools: Ten Ways to Improve Education

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6 357 88,189 views

Service Learning: Growing Action From the Roots of Passion

Mon, 11/09/2015 - 10:00
4 384 3,519 views

Troubleshooting PBL

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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.

7 1,119 9,229 views

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.

9 327 4,531 views

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.

69 2,852 views

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.

3 126 6,376 views

Critical Thinking Pathways

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

7 815 25,149 views
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.

558 7,551 views

Integrated PBL Projects: A Full-Course Meal!

Andrew Miller sees PBL as a source of balanced nutrition, where hitting the standards across many content areas adds up to a full-course meal.

2 1,557 6,712 views



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.

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Bringing Authenticity to the Classroom

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

22 3,636 21,963 views

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.

3 798 21,293 views
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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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.

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Project-Based Learning Research: Annotated Bibliography

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

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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.

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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...

3,199 168,833 views

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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