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 3 weeks 1 day ago
30 5,697 139,275 views

Core Strategies for Innovation and Reform in Learning

Last comment 3 weeks 11 hours ago
10 279 218,505 views

An Introduction to Project-Based Learning

Last comment 5 days 13 hours ago
26 576 117,599 views

Browse

Students gathered around a table playing a board game
Article

PBL Pilot: 4 Strategies to Implement and Spread PBL in Your School

Two fifth grade teachers advocate trust, respect, and inclusion when sharing the practices and results of their PBL pilot program with on-site colleagues.

8 1,140 6,976 views
Article

Watch and Learn: Observing the PBL Classroom

One classroom observation is just not enough to get the full picture of a project-based learning classroom. Read more on what works when best when observing PBL in action.

3 1,194 9,219 views
Illo of yellow lightbulb with a hook hanging under the base
Article

Powerful Classroom Lessons: It All Begins With the Hook

The lure or hook when introducing new learning to students matters more than we think.

9 565 38,370 views
Woman sitting outside with her tablet
Article

Life After the Hour of Code

Give students a taste of coding, point them at the resources, and their enthusiasm will let them apply a once-nerdy skill to any subject area.

1 386 5,481 views
Five children bundled up in a forest identifying rocks
Article

Technology, PBL, and Place-Based Education

A project- and placed-based learning school learns to use cutting-edge technology in the classroom while maintaining a close relationship to its stunning natural setting.

8 262 4,983 views
Boy standing in front of class pointing at screen
Article

PBL Pilot: Apps, Tips, and Tricks

Fifth grade teachers share some of their favorite apps for rubrics, editing, and assessment that are streamlining the classroom workflow in their PBL pilot program.

1 272 10,215 views
Illo of a Swiss Army Knife with classroom tools
Article

Quality Instruction + Differentiation: Beyond the Checklist

Differentiate instruction through PBL or UBD by personalizing the driving question, having students design their own outcomes, and using the need to know process.

5 424 8,720 views

Pages

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.

1 112 22,922 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 22,673 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 22,424 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 22,175 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 21,926 views
Article

The Role of PBL in Making the Shift to Common Core

Guest blogger Sara Hallermann, Curriculum Development Manager at Buck Institute for Education, looks through the lens of PBL to show how six of the Common Core's big ideas are compatible with this activity-centered approach.

9 952 21,427 views
Article

Good-to-Go Projects for 2014

Edutopia blogger Suzie Boss proposes teachers start with a ready-made plan they can adapt to fit within the context of their classroom.

3 510 21,178 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