Research Summaries and Projects

Research that supports our core strategies -- project-based learning, cooperative learning, technology integration, and others.

Research that supports our core strategies -- project-based learning, cooperative learning, technology integration, and others.

The George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF) recognizes the importance of high-quality scientific research to investigate and evaluate strategies that improve learning and making these findings accessible and useful to the public. In October 2013, the Foundation announced the formation of GLEF Research to advance its mission by developing and supporting current and new research programs and projects. (See the press release.) Partners will include universities, lead educators, and educational organizations.

KIA Research Project Winner 2013 NCSS Exemplary Research

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

One of the Foundation’s current initiatives is a research program, called Knowledge in Action, designed and managed by a collaborative group of learning scientists, curriculum experts, teacher leaders, and Foundation staff. The research team is applying a rigorous PBL approach to college-preparatory courses, so that students can participate in authentic tasks that provide an experiential platform for learning that prepares them for college and careers. The research won the 2013 Exemplary Research in Social Studies Award from the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS).

Edutopia's Core Strategies: Research Summaries

  • Integrated Studies icon

    Integrated Studies

    Discover seven key approaches in effective curriculum integration, get our specific recommendations on evidence-based practices and programs, and learn about pitfalls to avoid.

  • Project-Based Learning icon

    Project-Based Learning

    Studies have proven that when implemented well, project-based learning (PBL) can increase retention of content and improve students' attitudes towards learning. Find out more about the research and get recommendations for effective practices.

  • Social and Emotional Learning icon

    Social and Emotional Learning

    Numerous research reports show that social and emotional learning (SEL) can have a positive impact on students' academic performance. Read more about learning outcomes, pitfalls to avoid, and recommendations for research-proven SEL programs.

  • Teacher Development icon

    Teacher Development

    Research has shown that teaching quality is the strongest school-related factor that can improve student learning and achievement. Learn more about how effective leadership supports professional learning and key components for productive professional-development programs.

  • Technology Integration icon

    Technology Integration

    This review explores the vast body of research on tech integration and helps you navigate useful results, including key elements of successful tech integration, recommendations of practices by academic subject, and tips for avoiding pitfalls when adopting new technologies.

  • Comprehensive Assessment icon

    Comprehensive Assessment

    Assessment is the single most effective instructional strategy to increase learning. Learn about the key comprehensive assessment practices that have been shown by research to promote learning.

This article originally published on 3/11/2010

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Edutopia staff and parent of two public high schoolers

PBL resources

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Barbara, visit our PBL core strategy page at which has articles and an introduction to PBL video. The teaching module also explains the why, what, and how ( You can hear about shared experiences by joining the PBL community group at

Best of luck and thank you for supporting our work!


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Senior producer at Edutopia

Other research

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Kathy -- that's a meaty question. Outside the research GLEF has participated in itself, Edutopia has also covered research on some of the subjects you mention. Try these:

Multiple Intelligences

"Nature deficit disorder"

Neuroscience & emotional intelligence

Hope that helps!


How about research on

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How about research on multiple intelligences - incl emotional-social intelligence in learning and assessment of human intellect? what happens with the advent of agrarian revolution - permaculture and the plugless habitat many of our youth are wanting for change? the need for relating on an intimate level with our environment.... I love what you are into -project learning rocks - and is there any research happening with out the plug or techno?
I get that you can't cover everything and best to stick to expertise.

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