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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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

Project-Based Learning vs. Problem-Based Learning vs. X-BL

Last comment 2 weeks 6 days ago
24 4,756 139,275 views

No Books, No Problem: Teaching Without a Text

Last comment 1 week 4 days ago
13 98 24,417 views

Mindful Facilitation: Don’t Do Something, Just Stand There

Last comment 1 day 12 hours ago
12 193 15,697 views

Deeper Learning—for Teachers

Thu, 02/23/2017 - 10:00
5 953 5,376 views

Mindful Facilitation: Don’t Do Something, Just Stand There

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 06:00
12 193 15,697 views

What the Heck Is Project-Based Learning?

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 11:43
42 3,060 110,872 views

Resources

We Love PBL Pinterest Board

Visit a curated collection of resources on project-based learning -- including tips and tricks for newbies and veterans -- on Edutopia's pinboard on Pinterest.

2 6,727 views
Screenshot of PBL guide

High Tech High’s Teacher’s Guide to PBL

Download this teacher’s guide to project-based learning to explore great sample projects and review PBL basics.

1 7,225 views

Browse

Scrabble tiles spell out powerful verbs.
Article

Why Your Project Needs a Verb

Selecting a verb for a project-based learning assignment can bring clarity to the work and help students apply their learning.

337 3,383 views
A group of teachers discuss a project.
Article

Deeper Learning—for Teachers

We can harness the engagement our students find in project-based learning in our own professional development.

5 953 5,376 views
A multipurpose room filled with college banners, students studying at tables, cubbies against one wall, and an open office with two adults sitting behind a desk counter.
Article

Getting Students Into College Is Not Enough

See how one high school shapes its PBL curriculum—available online for free—to help prepare students to progress all the way to college graduation.

1 781 2,067 views
Several high school students and a female teacher are seated, looking at a presentation board.
Article

Turning the Community Into a Classroom

See how students investigate real issues in their communities—and check out an e-book on how to adopt this type of program.

1 545 2,990 views
Woman standing in front of screen presenting to other teachers.
Article

Expanding the STEM (or STEAM) Pipeline to Diverse Learners

Presidential award winner Dr. Jaunine Fouché shares strategies for making STEAM education more accessible and engaging.

2 361 3,737 views
An adult teacher points at work on a table as four high school students watch.
Article

4 Strategies to Energize and Focus Your Students

The real-life application of learning engages students beyond worksheets and traditional methods.

6 872 16,195 views
A young girl shares her project with an adult.
Article

The Value of an Authentic Audience

Providing students with an audience helps them understand why their coursework is worthwhile.

4 349 3,488 views

Pages

Article

Twenty Ideas for Engaging Projects

Blogger Suzie Boss shares 20 ideas for getting engaging projects going in your classroom.

19 719 506,646 views
article

Big Ideas for Better Schools: Ten Ways to Improve Education

Ideas for students, teachers, schools, and communities.

9 619 477,601 views
Article

3 Ways to Plan for Diverse Learners: What Teachers Do

Teachers aiming to differentiate learning in their classroom can focus on content, process, and product in giving students opportunities to grow and shine as individuals.

57 2,975 300,300 views
article

Ten Steps to Better Student Engagement

Project-learning teaching strategies can also improve your everyday classroom experience.

82 892 242,968 views
Article

Designing Science Inquiry: Claim + Evidence + Reasoning = Explanation

Edutopia blogger Eric Brunsell breaks scientific inquiry down into the basic CER model and offers suggestions for introducing it to students.

4 68 237,456 views
An young girl with rainbow-knitted headphones is sitting at a table with her female teacher. They're both looking at a long, thin sheet of paper, and the young girl is holding the tip of the pencil against the paper, pointing at something.
Article

6 Strategies for Differentiated Instruction in Project-Based Learning

Blogger Andrew Miller offers six simple, effective approaches to differentiated instruction in project-based learning.

19 6,953 220,249 views
article

Core Strategies for Innovation and Reform in Learning

See an overview of Edutopia's core strategies, including project-based learning, social-emotional learning, comprehensive assessment, technology integration, integrated studies and teacher development.

9 277 218,505 views

Pages

Girls testing wing strength using plywood
Article

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.

15 214 78,233 views

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 3,450 109,377 views
Article

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...

1 2 2,990 views