George Lucas Educational Foundation Celebrating our 25th Anniversary!

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

Design Thinking and PBL

Last comment 2 weeks 1 day ago
37 1,173 27,949 views

Getting Started with Literature and Project-Based Learning

Last comment 1 week 4 hours ago
3 2 3,288 views

Arts-Infused Project-Based Learning: Crafting Beautiful Work

Last comment 3 weeks 8 hours ago
7 34 12,683 views

Resources for Assessment in Project-Based Learning

Thu, 06/02/2016 - 11:59
4 4,658 80,323 views

4 Strategies to Energize and Focus Your Students

Wed, 11/16/2016 - 10:00
5 471 7,374 views

Getting Started with Literature and Project-Based Learning

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 23:31
3 2 3,288 views

Browse

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 10,334 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.

439 4,227 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 3,053 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 2,112 views
Article

They Do Call It a "Play," Don't They?

Guest blogger Raleigh Werberger, a high school history and humanities teacher, shares a lesson plan for incorporating classical Greek drama into a PBL unit and folding kinesthetic learning into a study of history and language.

3 847 4,462 views
Article

PBL and STEAM Education: A Natural Fit

Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller looks at the enhanced possibilities of using 21st century skills to engage students with real-world challenges through combining the pedagogical model of PBL with the rich content area of STEAM.

18 1,401 25,365 views
Article

For Earth Day and Beyond: Focus on Environmental Action Projects

Edutopia Suzie Boss shares exciting projects to teach students about Earth Day and how to care for the environment.

3 1,473 8,220 views

Pages

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.

3 336 14,092 views
Article

Innovative Education: Make Room for "What Ifs"

Edutopia blogger Suzie Boss highlights a science project where eighth-graders created a "robohand" after their teacher invited them to solve a real-world problem.

2 100 13,857 views
article

How to Help an International School: Give the Gift of Books -- and More

Teach children a global lesson by donating books and other needed supplies to schools around the world.

11 44 13,857 views
photo of young students working on a project
Article

My PBL Failure: 4 Tips for Planning Successful PBL

Here are four lessons learned from a failed PBL unit: align with the school calendar, allow planning time, carefully create the topic and guiding question, and collaborate with peers.

8 658 13,622 views
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 23 13,622 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 13,622 views
Article

Personalized PBL: Student-Designed Learning

Project-based learning may be the best vehicle for personalized learning as teachers move beyond "course-based" approaches and open the way for student-designed curriculum.

8 380 13,622 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.

15 228 80,558 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 3,474 104,514 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 3,053 views