Teaching Modules Splash
project-based learning
Project-Based Learning Instructional ModuleHome
Mott Hall students

Why Is PBL
Mountlake Terrace High School

What Is
PBL About?
Newsome Park Elementary School

How Does
PBL Work?
Washington State students

About PBL


A description of what PBL can accomplish in the classroom.

"The classroom is a place where people can live a fulfilling life together as a community of learners if needs and concerns are appropriately expressed. Problems can be discussed. Support, encouragement, and models can be provided by both teacher and peers. Where expectations for children's learning are high, it is important that the social interaction itself is designed to facilitate learning."

--Education researcher Sylvia Chard

PBL Is Curriculum Fueled and Standards Based

Project-based learning addresses the required content standards. In PBL, the inquiry process starts with a guiding question and lends itself to collaborative projects that integrate various subjects within the curriculum. Questions are asked that direct students to encounter the major elements and principles of a discipline.

PBL Asks a Question or Poses a Problem That Each Student Can Answer

In PBL, the teacher or the students pose a guiding question: "What happens at night?" "What do nocturnal animals do while we're sleeping?" "What is cystic fibrosis, and how is it caused?" "What would happen if our class formed a business with a real product and started selling stock?" "What will a high school look like in 2050?" (These questions are the basis for projects you'll see in articles and videos.)

PBL Allows Students to Delve into Content in a More Direct and Meaningful Way

Recognizing that children have different learning styles, concrete, hands-on experiences come together during PBL. Field trips, experiments, model building, posters, and creation of multimedia presentations are all viable activities within PBL, and present multiple ways for students to demonstrate their knowledge -- there is no one right answer!

PBL Asks Students to Investigate Issues and Topics Addressing Real-World Problems While Integrating Subjects Across the Curriculum

By creating bridges between subjects, students view knowledge holistically, rather than looking at isolated facts. Education scholar Sylvia Chard says the project approach is an "in-depth investigation of a real-world topic worthy of children's attention and effort."

PBL Fosters Abstract, Intellectual Tasks to Explore Complex Issues

PBL promotes understanding, which is true knowledge. Students explore, make judgments, interpret, and synthesize information in meaningful ways. This approach is more representative of how adults are asked to learn and demonstrate knowledge.

View PBL in action.

Watch the video Newsome Parkvideo

Back to top