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

Middle School Students Taking Pride in STEM Innovations

Last comment 4 weeks 2 hours ago
2 33 705 views

Summer Professional Development Blog Series

Last comment 3 weeks 6 days ago
7 147 3,381 views

#ThinkPossible: Challenging Students to be Novelists

Last comment 3 weeks 5 days ago
3 655 3,380 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 6,037 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 5,795 views

Browse

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.

339 1,334 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.

1 349 3,139 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.

6 854 12,314 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.

4 339 2,656 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.

1 204 4,829 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.

2 789 13,039 views
Paint brushes and jars of paint are on a black floor splattered with colorful paint.
Article

Arts-Based Research: Surprise and Self-Motivation

Arts-based research is beginning an investigation without expectations and remaining open to all possibilities. Now imagine asking a ninth-grade class to deconstruct and recreate a Happy Meal.

2 715 8,210 views

Pages

Article

Twenty Ideas for Engaging Projects

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

19 719 477,119 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 2,126 261,981 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.

9 277 245,803 views
article

Ten Steps to Better Student Engagement

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

82 912 242,906 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 53 215,379 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 6,953 214,414 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 2,003 150,911 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 78,473 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 3,450 106,724 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 2,897 views