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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Ten Tips for Personalized Learning via Technology

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A Makerspace Built by Elementary Students

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Using the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals

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Browse

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.

7 574 3,234 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.

2 202 3,719 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.

116 1,622 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 2,126 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.

383 3,618 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.

4 375 2,647 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 3,775 views

Pages

Article

Academic Discourse and PBL

Math teacher Danielle Lynch continues Sammamish High School's blog series about the seven key elements for integrating PBL with examples of how the principle of academic discourse can deepen math learning.

1 284 18,146 views
A group of about 20 young children are sitting and laying down on bean bags in a library. They're listening to a teacher standing in from of them and talking to them.
Article

Talking About Text Structure in the PBL Classroom

Enhance PBL by teaching students how to identify text structure how to and use it within their project-based reading and writing.

3 1,773 18,115 views
article

Cooperative Learning Fits into the Calculation

Master teacher Chris Opitz shares resources for integrating social and emotional learning into math class.

3 49 18,013 views
Article

Twenty Tips for Managing Project-Based Learning

In honor of Edutopia's 20th anniversary, blogger Andrew Miller provides twenty tips on how to manage PBL. Enjoy and please add your own!

3 758 17,938 views
Three boys and a girl standing in front of class doing a presentation
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 17,858 views
Article

5 Tips for Flipping Your PBL Classroom

Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller considers how the project-based learning and flipped-classroom models can successfully intersect, offering five tips for engaging students in the project while moving aspects of it outside the classroom walls.

25 708 17,853 views
article

Knowledge in Action Research Helping to Make the Case for Rigorous Project-Based Learning

This research project by the University of Washington in collaboration with The George Lucas Educational Foundation is studying the impact on student learning of a PBL approach to Advanced Placement courses.

1 264 17,846 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 61,248 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 4,539 views