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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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.

5 528 29,098 views
Article

PBL Pilot: Navigating Group Work

Fifth grade teachers use their PBL pilot program to teach the leadership and collaboration skills that future employers are likely to expect of their students.

1 234 5,672 views
Article

Social Justice: A Whole-School Approach

Read about a social justice-based school that addresses larger issues as a learning community, builds curriculum around service learning, and regularly involves families.

2 305 10,850 views
A photo of 3 high school girls working in the makerspace.
Article

How Maker Culture Builds Stronger Learning Communities

An innovative youth leadership program called Public Workshop has been partnering with high school students to remake their environment.

530 5,918 views
A photo of a group of students looking at the outdoor display.
Article

Great Displays in the Great Outdoors: Bringing Student Work to Life

With the help of ceramics and QR codes, a student research project leaves the building for all to enjoy outside on the school grounds.

7 615 3,699 views
An illustration of a giant lightbulb being suspended on a crane.
Article

PBL: From Civic Engagement to Student Reflection

Students in one PBL class look outward to examine how the legislative branch of government works, and then turn inward to reflect on their learning.

2 255 5,918 views
A photo of a high school male student using survey equipment.
Article

The PBL Coordinator and Hands-On Academic Support

PBL schools benefit from a PBL coordinator to locate and organize resources, invite guest speakers, and support students in getting the most out of their projects.

125 740 views

Pages

Article

Ideas for Digital Citizenship PBL Projects

Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller suggests using the PBL model to teach students the values of digital citizenship.

3 169 23,919 views
Boy wearing safety goggles working on a table saw
article

Integrated Projects = Deeper Learning

Here's how one school designs rigorous projects that blend STEM with other core subjects. See how this strategy might work for you.

1 12 22,933 views
Photo of students working on robot
article

Resources and Downloads for STEM

Explore ways to use STEM lessons and approaches to help students practice cross-disciplinary thinking and build skills in science, technology, engineering, and math.

1 101 22,440 views
Article

PBL: What Does It Take for a Project to Be "Authentic"?

John Larmer of the Buck Institute for Education looks at the criteria determining whether or not project based learning is authentic, and how important this distinction might be.

14 146 22,440 views
Article

Whole-School Project Builds Pride

Blogger Suzie Boss highlights how one school used project-based learning to challenge its students to improve their school site.

11 488 22,193 views
Anatomy of a Project: Give Me Shelter
video

Anatomy of a Project: "Give Me Shelter"

Juniors at Casco Bay High School, in Portland, Maine, explore homelessness by working in teams to make audio slide-show portraits.

3 58 22,193 views
Man crouched down talking to a student who is sitting at his desk
article

Resources and Downloads for College and Career Readiness

Educators from MC2 STEM High School in Cleveland, Ohio, have provided these resources and tools for integrated project-based learning, real-world experiences, and other strategies to prepare students for college and beyond.

867 21,700 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 78,229 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 3,450 107,102 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 2,959 views