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

An Example of PBL in Early Elementary: How I Started

Last comment 1 week 1 hour ago
5 259 25,414 views

Twenty Ideas for Engaging Projects

Last comment 3 weeks 6 days ago
20 730 516,937 views

Help! Need PBL Ideas for Science Units

Last comment 1 week 3 days ago
1

How To: Start a Place-Based Blog

Wed, 01/07/2009 - 15:46
6 2 535 views

New Study Shows the Impact of PBL on Student Achievement

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 07:30
18 3,746 21,741 views

New Study Shows the Impact of PBL on Student Achievement

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 07:30
18 3,746 21,741 views

Browse

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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.

2 268 5,481 views
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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 4,110 33,885 views
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Article

School-as-Studio Immerses Students in Creative Problem Solving

Launched in 2010 by a trio of bold thinkers from MIT, NuVu Studio is a secondary school that boasts recent student projects focused on everything from futuristic fashion to biotechnology.

1 2,414 6,727 views
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Article

PBL Pilot: Formative Assessment and PBL

Two fifth grade teachers explain how the driving question and the need to know list are a naturally fit for their PBL pilot program.

9 45 16,693 views
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Article

In Australia, a School Designed to Excite and Engage

Check out this Australian elementary school that lives up to its vision of being "a place of optimism, excitement, and challenge."

5 407 5,731 views
Article

Emphasize Real Problems to Boost STEM Learning

Interested in creating more student-driven learning experiences, especially in the STEM? Check out these resources and ideas.

6 713 9,468 views
Article

4 Paths to Engaging Authentic Purpose and Audience

Give students a face for their audience and let them find the passion in their message through problem solving, advocacy, raising awareness, or publication.

3 634 10,963 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.

14 147 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.

11 489 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
Children smile as one of their peers makes a presentation.
Article

New Study Shows the Impact of PBL on Student Achievement

Researchers in Michigan show that project-based learning in high-poverty communities can produce statistically significant gains in social studies and informational reading.

18 3,746 21,741 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.

9 954 21,427 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 3,455 102,557 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