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

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.

1 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

Students and teachers at the author’s school sit at a table to discuss a project.
Article

Using PBL to Meet C3 Social Studies Standards

Project-based learning aligns with and enhances the College, Career, and Civic Life Framework for Social Studies State Standards.

Several high school students seated at a table in discussion with an adult.
Article

Real-World Applications of Classroom Learning

Project-based learning ideas that have your students collaborate with peers around the world and apply their learning to make a difference.

2,977 views
A collage of four photos of students and staff at Iowa BIG High School around campus
Article

Partnership Strategies for Real-World Projects

Students gain by taking on interdisciplinary projects with community nonprofits, businesses, and government agencies.

540 2,383 views
Illustration of a clock taking off like a rocket, with pens, paper, a tablet computer, and other items in a cloud above it
Article

Standards-Aligned Genius Hour

Give your students a chance to follow their own interests with projects that meet state standards.

9 1,410 7,831 views
Project-Based Learning: Raising Student Achievement for All Learners
Article

Projects That Have Been Put to the Test

A team of researchers created and tested four social studies units that improved achievement among students in high-poverty schools. See how they did it—and download their curriculum.

2 308 7,589 views
Children smile as one of their peers makes a presentation.
Article

New Study Shows the Impact of PBL on Student Achievement

Researchers in Michigan show that project-based learning in high-poverty communities can produce statistically significant gains in social studies and informational reading.

19 6,438 22,858 views
A teacher discusses a project with a small group of students.
Article

Fostering Confident Problem Solvers

How one teacher uses project-based learning to empower her students to see themselves as agents of change in society.

6 281 443 views

Pages

Article

Twenty Ideas for Engaging Projects

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

20 730 522,749 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 3,894 370,398 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 6,886 243,106 views
article

Ten Steps to Better Student Engagement

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

82 896 235,514 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.

10 279 228,438 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 72 216,352 views
Boy wearing glasses building with legos
Article

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

John Larmer of the Buck Institute for Education clears up any confusion on the difference between project-based learning, problem-based learning, and whatever-else-based learning.

30 5,790 175,095 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 3,455 101,215 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