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

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Big Ideas for Better Schools: Ten Ways to Improve Education

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Collaboration: Key to Innovation

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Browse

Article

Culinary Arts Integration: 12 PBL Activities Students Can Sink Their Teeth Into

Use the study and preparation of food as a cross-curricular PBL modality in math, chemistry, social studies, history, or language arts classes.

3 12 14,780 views
Article

Zombie-Based Learning -- "Braaaaaaains!"

From PBL to ZBL, Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller explores a new twist to project-based learning: the pedagogical benefits of Zombies!

23 40 35,718 views
Article

PBL Pilot: Rolling It Out to Parents and Students

The PBL pilot program rollout continues as two adventurous teachers open lines of communication with parents and engage their fifth graders with a driving question.

8 67 5,171 views
Article

Avoiding the Flop: 5 Questions to Guide Projects and Inquiry

To be an effective guide on the side, plan for every aspect of the project while remaining open to student ideas, needs, and understanding.

2 828 13,794 views
Article

The Maker Movement: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants to Own the Future

The Maker movement's pedagogical roots reach back to 18th-century Europe even as its branches reach globally to transform 21st-century education.

2 61 8,621 views
Article

What Should "Gold Standard" PBL Include?

Find out why a gold standard in PBL is necessary and how teachers, school leaders, and others can contribute to the conversation around its development.

80 2,955 views
Article

The Hattie Effect: What's Essential for Effective PBL?

Check out how John Hattie's research is demystifying what works in education and how this relates to project-based learning.

7 1,093 14,533 views

Pages

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 19,460 views
Article

Practical PBL Series: Design an Instructional Unit in Seven Phases

In this first of a three-part series, teacher and blogger Amber Graeber presents the Seven Phases of a Project Cycle, a practical breakdown of how you might guide your students through a PBL unit.

4 291 19,460 views
article

Internet Explorers: Virtual Field Trips Are More Than Just Money Savers

These online adventures emphasize student participation and standards-based curriculum.

153 19,214 views
article

Teach Green: Lesson Plans on Recycling

Tap into the Web and learn how to preserve our planet -- and help others learn how, too.

4 6 19,214 views
Structuring Collaboration for Student Success (Keys to PBL Series Part 3)
video

Structuring Collaboration for Student Success (Keys to PBL Series Part 3)

PBL provides a unique opportunity to help students practice critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity. Learn how to optimize the environment for teamwork in your classroom.

244 18,967 views
Article

Including Student Voice

Science teacher and curriculum coach Bill Palmer continues Sammamish High School's blog series about the seven key elements for integrating PBL with an examination of Student Voice.

6 52 18,967 views
Grand Slam: Performance Poetry Engages Students
video

Grand Slam: Performance Poetry Engages Students

Global Writes, a Bronx-based nonprofit, helps students reach new heights in literacy and life through live poetry competitions.

104 18,721 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 78,086 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 3,450 106,907 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 2,955 views