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

Project-Based Learning vs. Problem-Based Learning vs. X-BL

Last comment 2 weeks 6 days ago
24 4,756 139,275 views

No Books, No Problem: Teaching Without a Text

Last comment 1 week 4 days ago
13 98 24,417 views

Mindful Facilitation: Don’t Do Something, Just Stand There

Last comment 1 day 13 hours ago
12 193 15,697 views

Deeper Learning—for Teachers

Thu, 02/23/2017 - 10:00
5 953 5,376 views

Mindful Facilitation: Don’t Do Something, Just Stand There

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 06:00
12 193 15,697 views

What the Heck Is Project-Based Learning?

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 11:43
42 3,060 110,872 views

Browse

Article

How to Grow an Engaging Learning Environment

As the school garden movement continues to grow, Edutopia blogger Suzie Boss suggests it's worth taking a closer look at the strategies that are yielding positive results.

1 2,476 7,475 views
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.

9 277 218,505 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 8,222 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 44 997 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 10,714 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 4,485 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 2,492 views

Pages

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!

3 757 14,451 views
article

World Without Walls: Learning Well with Others

How to teach when learning is everywhere.

29 58 14,451 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 14,202 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 14,202 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 13,953 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 13,704 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 13,704 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 78,233 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...

3 3,450 109,377 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 2,990 views