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

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

Last comment 5 days 51 min ago
29 5,659 139,275 views

Designing Learning That Matters

Last comment 1 week 5 days ago
9 181 18,687 views

Learning by Doing: A Teacher Transitions Into PBL

Last comment 4 weeks 20 hours ago
22 197 30,895 views

Turning the Community Into a Classroom

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 06:00
4 557 2,990 views

A Content-Rich Maker Project

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 10:00
2 526 3,516 views

Browse

Two young women and man sitting together working on laptops
Article

Hackathons as a New Pedagogy

The hackathon, a hands-on, solution-based development model with similarities to PBL, inquiry-based learning, STEAM, and design thinking, could become the ideal 21st-century learning opportunity.

7 241 8,720 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.

29 5,659 139,275 views
Students walking on a grassy field
Article

PBL Pilot: What Will the Future Bring?

Two fifth grade teachers reflect on their first year with a PBL curriculum, self-evaluating their outcomes and formulating an action plan for next year.

2 357 7,724 views
Illo of a Baltimore Oriole with an olive branch in its mouth
Article

Teachable Moments and Academic Rigor: A Mini-Unit

Teachers present a PBL unit to help students understand, through the violent, tragic events in Ferguson and Baltimore, how public perception affects law enforcement and justice.

404 12,707 views
Girl wearing a cap and a boy sitting at a table on stage
Article

10-Minute Plays: Performing Arts in the History Classroom

By distilling research, writing, and acting into ten-minute plays for an authentic audience, students turn a U.S. history unit into a personally relevant experience.

5 182 9,966 views
Two girls sitting next to each other looking closely at long skinny sticks
Article

A Quiver of Teaching Strategies (Not Just One Silver Bullet)

To develop a class of risk takers, administrators need to encourage faculty to try new teaching strategies so they model for their students risk taking, flexibility, and resilience when failure happens.

2 1,344 5,481 views
Heart made out of pink post-its surrounded by yellow post-its
Article

Teaching Empathy Through Design Thinking

While empathy is the first step in the design thinking process, keep your students focused on this necessary element as they move through definition, ideation, prototyping, and testing.

6 2,968 33,885 views

Pages

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.

5 557 28,653 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.

6 463 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.

7 164 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.

8 2,990 27,656 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 27,656 views
Article

PBL and STEAM Education: A Natural Fit

Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller looks at the enhanced possibilities of using 21st century skills to engage students with real-world challenges through combining the pedagogical model of PBL with the rich content area of STEAM.

18 135 27,407 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.

14 162 27,158 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 3,450 109,377 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