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.

Browse

Article

The Happy Eating Place: How Elementary Students Can Run Their Own Business

Fourth and fifth graders develop a service learning project that prepares meals for their school community and donates the proceeds to a county food bank.

2 53 12,123 views
Article

Roller Coaster Middle School: How One Kid's Crazy Idea Took PBL to Thrilling New Heights

Will Pemble became CoasterDad when his son's backyard roller coaster idea turned into a massive PBL project integrating math, physics, and 21st century skills.

27 12,366 views
Embedding Assessment Throughout the Project (Keys to PBL Series Part 5)
video

Embedding Assessment Throughout the Project (Keys to PBL Series Part 5)

Assessment can be integrated seamlessly into project-based learning. Find tools for measuring student understanding from the beginning to the end of a project.

2 235 44,861 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.

1 324 19,399 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 18,672 views
Building Rigorous Projects That Are Core to Learning (Keys to PBL Series Part 2)
video

Building Rigorous Projects That Are Core to Learning (Keys to PBL Series Part 2)

Project-based learning doesn't mean leaving standards behind. Follow these tips to plan projects that challenge your students and align with core learning goals.

3 89 28,372 views
Article

My PBL Pet Peeves: 4 Common Misconceptions

Andrew Miller firmly addresses some common misunderstandings about PBL, including the ideas that projects are lessons and the public audience can be random.

11 340 14,305 views

Pages

article

Speed 101: Motorcycle Racing as Real-World Physics Lab

Isaac Newton hops aboard a two-wheeled teaching tool.

18 61 17,460 views
article

Brain-Based Research Prompts Innovative Teaching Techniques in the Classroom

Educators explore nontraditional methods of teaching and receive positive results.

123 37 17,460 views
Four students sitting across from each other, one girl standing in the middle, all with post-it's on their foreheads
Article

5 Ways of Bringing Student Passions to Student Learning

Learning and learning outcomes are more meaningful to students when teachers engage their passions, unleash their creativity, and give them time and tools for innovation.

3 955 17,217 views
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 16,732 views
Article

How Project-Based Learning Builds 21st-Century Skills

Blogger Suzie Boss outlines how PBL and 21st-century skills go hand-in-hand.

5 1,085 16,490 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 3,179 16,247 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.

25 728 16,247 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 78,568 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 3,450 106,212 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 2,907 views