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

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Ten Tips for Personalized Learning via Technology

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A Makerspace Built by Elementary Students

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Browse

Teacher standing talking with a student as they watch a girl pouring liquid into cups at a counter
Article

Aligning the Projects With the Standards

PBL can align with CCSS when teachers, knowing their kids' interests and abilities, let projects evolve to meet student needs as well as the standards.

8 150 9,399 views
Boy wearing headphones standing in class operating a camera on a tripod
Article

Service Learning: Growing Action From the Roots of Passion

In 2007, my co-teacher and I noticed that students felt increasingly like the world was "happening to them," as if they had no ability to affect positive change. This, coupled with the question "When am I going to use this?" led to the inspiration...

4 42 5,119 views
Two students are sitting, and one student is standing, all their hands are touching a popsicle stick bridge that they're gluing together.
Article

Designing Learning That Matters

Foster deep learning experiences for your students by using inquiry, seeking lessons and projects that inspire, always asking "why?", and letting them loose on projects.

9 189 21,477 views
Three students and a teacher are in a green room, setting up the lighting to film.
Article

Studio Schools: Career-Focused Secondary Education

In England, Studio Schools (a model similar to U.S. charter schools) combine academic and vocational pathways with strong employer engagement to make learning relevant.

62 2,131 views
Three adults are standing outside of the doors of a school hallway, below a sign that says, "Dream Factory."
Article

Finding the Sweet Spot: Creativity, Candy, and Commerce

Through the design, manufacture, and marketing of their own signature chocolate bars, these middle school students brought curiosity and passion to their STEM learning.

3 74 8,852 views
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.

7 634 18,223 views
photo of a girl working with pen and ink
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.

6 130 9,610 views

Pages

article

Money Lessons: A Guide to Financial-Literacy Resources

The Internet offers teaching tools on economics for any grade level.

8 58 31,547 views
A female teacher is standing at the left side of a classroom. The classroom is empty, except for a large green and brown rug placed side by side with two benches placed on top of them, and shelves are against the back wall with drums on top of them.
Article

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

To help students find their own way in PBL, use mindfulness techniques like tuning into your own body, nonjudgmental observation, and embracing the "don't know" mind.

12 311 30,976 views
Infographic showing the value of educating students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
article

Infographic: The Value of a STEM Education

Knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) can be the key to a successful future. Here's why a STEM education matters and how you can inspire students to pursue STEM careers.

7 1,564 30,148 views
Girl adding blue food coloring to her volcano project
Article

5 PBL Best Practices for Redefining the Teacher's Role

PBL changes a teacher's traditional role through framing the learning, helping students develop ideas, consulting as they revise, and encouraging feedback, reflection, and authentic presentations.

5 562 30,145 views
article

Kindergarten Is the Model for Lifelong Learning

Let's keep teaching creativity throughout school and adulthood.

18 1,263 30,071 views
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 29,665 views
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 29,179 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 61,248 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 4,539 views