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.

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Browse

A boy is hunched over a rectangular device on his desk, drawing.
Article

Project-Based Learning and Gamification: Two Great Tastes That Go Great Together

Prepping for a gamified unit of study or project is very different than prepping for your traditional, linear model. Here are some tips on how to do it.

7 617 24,417 views
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Article

Giving Students Charge of How They Learn

By letting students determine how they learn, via task design, rubric development, and student-led parent conferences, we see high engagement, in-depth inquiry, and quality work.

6 129 8,222 views
photo of a student working on a robotics project
Article

6 Strategies to Truly Personalize PBL

PBL best embodies personalized learning when you know the whole child, align projects with standards, build a supportive infrastructure, assess often, and get out of the way.

1 83 10,714 views
photo of three young women working on a project together
Article

Learning by Doing: A Teacher Transitions Into PBL

For a successful PBL unit, set clear goals, over plan, make students accountable, give concrete deadlines, share rubrics in advance, and reflect on your methods.

22 1,133 30,895 views
photo of young students working on a project
Article

My PBL Failure: 4 Tips for Planning Successful PBL

Here are four lessons learned from a failed PBL unit: align with the school calendar, allow planning time, carefully create the topic and guiding question, and collaborate with peers.

8 660 13,205 views
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Article

Banned Books, Censorship - and PBL?

Nothing inspires the need to read like banned books! Here's how to incorporate literacy, voice and choice, and social studies into one engaging PBL project.

4 28 2,990 views
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Article

The Key to Creative Classrooms

Through awareness, empowerment, practice, and methodology, teachers and parents can enhance their own creative skills as a way to begin modeling creativity for their children.

3 81 6,229 views

Pages

Article

Authentic Assessment in Action

Music teacher Mark Wilbert continues Sammamish High School's blog series about the seven key elements for integrating PBL with an account of how an authentic assessment project increased student buy-in.

6 464 28,653 views
Article

Critical Thinking Pathways

To teach critical thinking, consider applying six definitions of that discipline to the practices of authentic inquiry, PBL, and integrated studies.

7 203 28,154 views
Article

Curious Homework: An Inquiry Project for Students and Parents

Blogger Suzie Boss presents real examples of how to continue to engage student curiosity in school after the homework projects are over.

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Article

Common Core in Action: Teaching Critical Thinking and Questioning

Edutopia blogger Heather Wolpert-Gawron outlines how project-based learning, with a focus on the common core, and iPads engaged her students in critical thinking and questioning.

6 47 27,656 views
Article

Project-Based Learning Through a Maker's Lens

The messy, hands-on Maker classroom is perfect for a PBL unit when the teacher is willing to collaborate, tinker, fix, break, and rebuild alongside students.

14 632 27,158 views
Article

Creating Schoolwide PBL Aligned to Common Core

Eric Isselhardt of Baltimore's Green Street Academy describes how his school is creating PBL curriculum aligned to the Common Core standards.

11 498 26,410 views
Two teenage boys in protective goggles, green aprons, and blue gloves are hovering over a desk holding a screwdriver, using it with some plastic-metal device.
Article

4 Practices for Increasing Student Engagement

Spend the first five minutes of each class focusing on your students as people. Then keep them engaged through the agency of makerspaces, PBL, or Genius Hour/20 Time.

7 337 26,161 views

Pages

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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
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