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

The Happy Eating Place: How Elementary Students Can Run Their Own Business

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5 54 12,563 views

Big Ideas for Better Schools: Ten Ways to Improve Education

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9 619 69,218 views

Collaboration: Key to Innovation

Last comment 2 weeks 1 day ago
4 1,470 6,895 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 6,402 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 6,895 views

Browse

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.

256 1,013 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.

1 496 2,709 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.

1 357 3,694 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.

6 867 14,780 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 2,709 views
Two young women work on a building under construction.
Article

Tips for Combining Project-Based and Service Learning

Help your students find a larger sense of purpose in their schoolwork even as they achieve educational goals.

1 238 5,417 views
photo of students and teachers playing with a puppet
Article

Hoist the Sails: The Great Quest for a Play-Based Classroom

By integrating play into your classroom culture and curriculum, you can engage students' senses and pique their curiosity while infusing content through tangible, shareable activities.

2 803 13,302 views

Pages

Article

Twenty Ideas for Engaging Projects

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

19 719 492,411 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 2,132 274,903 views
article

Ten Steps to Better Student Engagement

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

82 892 243,372 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.

9 277 240,663 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 62 228,100 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 6,953 218,247 views
Three girls smiling behind a laptop
article

A Step-by-Step Guide to the Best Projects

Discover a project-based learning model that motivates students to pursue knowledge and drives academic achievement.

21 2,003 152,477 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 78,086 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...

2 3,450 106,907 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 2,955 views