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 15 hours ago
24 4,756 139,275 views

No Books, No Problem: Teaching Without a Text

Last comment 1 week 6 days ago
13 98 24,417 views

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

Last comment 2 days 22 hours ago
12 199 15,697 views

Learning by Doing: A Teacher Transitions Into PBL

Mon, 09/21/2015 - 06:00
22 194 30,895 views

Getting Students Into College Is Not Enough

Tue, 02/14/2017 - 12:00
2 782 2,067 views

Deeper Learning—for Teachers

Thu, 02/23/2017 - 10:00
5 953 5,376 views

Browse

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 6,229 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.

125 747 views
A photo of an elementary-school girl looking at a model of the solar system.
Article

PBL Science Empowered by Discussion Forums

ELLs are better positioned to learn science through the COPPELLS model of PBL, which provides online and asynchronous forums for reviewing and discussing course material.

109 2,492 views
Article

PBL Pilot: Student Work Showcase

Fifth grade teachers share how students in their PBL pilot program raised funds for microloans, created websites for a nature preserve, and developed business plans.

448 6,229 views
Article

Make It Matter: Teach Justice

Students lack experience yet have valid perspectives about bettering their world. They learn when we give them agency to start working toward those changes.

4 374 1,246 views
Article

Just Ask: Strategies for Building Community Partnerships

Whether through questionnaires to parents or networking through colleagues, you can build a resource pool from the wide range of expertise within your community.

4 147 2,242 views
Article

Innovative Practice: 5 Strategies for the Early Learning Classroom

Project- and play-based learning are essential in the early grades to develop creative learning dispositions during the brain's most active period of synaptic growth.

13 378 52,572 views

Pages

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
Article

When Students Do The Teaching

Guest blogger Kiera Chase shares the power of students creating lessons and teaching their peers.

4 344 20,929 views
two high school aged students working with a teacher around a computer
article

Resources for Building Community Partnerships

Learn how schools can benefit from the support and expertise of local businesses, organizations, and individuals, and discover strategies for fostering successful business and community partnerships.

3 372 20,431 views
Anatomy of a Project: "Soil Superheroes"
video

Anatomy of a Project: "Soil Superheroes"

Project Learning Assignment: Seventh graders work with community experts to advance their understanding of bacteria in the environment -- and then share their findings with the community at large.

27 20,431 views
Facilitating Learning in a Student-Driven Environment (Keys to PBL Series Part 4)
video

Facilitating Learning in a Student-Driven Environment (Keys to PBL Series Part 4)

When they are directly involved in planning and steering projects, students are more invested in their learning. Get ideas for empowering your students to work independently.

1 276 20,182 views
Three girls smiling and laughing around a laptop computer
article

Project-Based Learning Research Review: Best Practices Across Disciplines

What does project-based learning look like in math, science, or economics? On this page you'll find concrete examples of successful projects in specific subjects.

1 224 19,932 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