George Lucas Educational Foundation
Project-Based Learning

Project-Based Learning: What Businesses Can Do

How businesses can help promote and support project-based learning in local schools.

    Determine what support you can offer

    Expertise? Materials? Classroom volunteer time? Funding? Because students are involved in real-world projects, local companies have much to offer in terms of support.

    Use the bully pulpit

    The more schools and policy makers know that business supports project-based learning and that it fits into corporate America's ideas for what it needs from its workforce, the more they will be willing to investigate its potential.

    Create partnerships

    Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network is an excellent example of how schools and business can work together to improve student learning -- and ultimately create a well-qualified workforce.

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    Buck Institute of Education. This Web site offers a comprehensive primer on project-based learning and includes research, project examples, and professional development listservs.

    Engaging Children's Minds: The Project Approach. This book by Professors Sylvia Chard and Lilian Katz, first published in 1989 and revised in 2000, provides an introduction to the project approach to learning.

    Global SchoolNet Foundation Project Registry. Created for teachers, this Web site contains worldwide projects using technology from classroom teachers and organizations such as NASA, iEARN, and GLOBE. The projects can be sorted by age level, subject, and project start date.

    Integrating Computer Technology Into the Classroom. Authors Gary Morrison and Deborah Lowther advocate a technology-rich, project approach to teaching and learning. Their book outlines ways teachers can go beyond just the computer for drill and practice exercises.