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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Browse

article

Core Strategies for Innovation and Reform in Learning

See an overview of Edutopia's core strategies, including project-based learning, social-emotional learning, comprehensive assessment, technology integration, integrated studies and teacher development.

9 277 224,781 views
Article

How to Help Your Students Develop Data Literacy

Blogger Suzie Boss offers up ideas and resources for helping students learn how to interpret, understand, and use data to drive inquiry.

1 782 8,172 views
Article

How to Manage the Angry Birds on Your Project

Guest blogger Chris Hare focuses on communication, a critical element of PBL, through the lens of the Angry Birds game and proposes different strategies for working with red, orange, black and blue birds within your group.

5 44 991 views
Article

Maximizing Profit: The PBL Classroom Without PBL

Danielle Lynch of Sammamish High School offers a glimpse of the 21st century skills that remain on display in her problem-based learning math classroom even when students aren't specifically tasked with a PBL project.

4 887 10,648 views
Article

How PBL Prepares Students for CCSS Test Performance Tasks: Part 2 - PBL is Already Aligned for Assessment

In the second of two blogposts, John Larmer of the Buck Institute for Education reviews how the eight essential elements of PBL can fit (sometimes neatly, sometimes not) within the expectations of Common Core assessment.

437 4,457 views
Article

How PBL Prepares Students for CCSS Test Performance Tasks: Part 1 - Defining the Tasks

Guest blogger John Larmer of the Buck Institute for Education, in the first of two blog posts, defines Common Core test performance tasks and how looks at teachers can apply project-based learning to their assessment practice.

6 255 3,219 views
Article

How to Find a Home for Service-Learning Projects

Blogger Suzie Boss highlights one high school example of what quality service-learning looks like in practice.

1 48 2,229 views

Pages

article

World Without Walls: Learning Well with Others

How to teach when learning is everywhere.

29 58 14,363 views
A closeup of a young girl with pigtails in a yellow long sleeve shirt, black pants, and glasses kneeling down, connecting white tubes together, creating a table with a young boy who is squatting.
Article

Assessment in Making

As we integrate maker education into the curriculum, we should determine whether it raises test scores, how it aligns with standards, and how we can assess making.

2 197 13,867 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.

1 374 13,867 views
Schools Use Games for Learning and Assessment
video

Schools Use Games for Learning and Assessment

Computer simulations are natural learning tools for a generation of video game players.

42 93 13,867 views
Building a Better School With Brain-Based Learning
video

Building a Better School with Brain-Based Learning

Technology use, strategies based on brain research, and unique classroom environments for different learning styles give students an edge at Key Largo School in Florida.

3 332 13,867 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.

2 815 13,620 views
How a TEDx Mission Connects Students to Real-World Goals
Article

How a TEDx Mission Makes Learning Relevant To Students’ Lives

In a 7th-grade classroom, health lessons are framed as broader "missions" to get students engaged with relevant topics in their community.

43 13,620 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 78,066 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 3,450 106,567 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 2,972 views