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.

PrintPrint
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Share
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

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

Last comment 6 days 22 hours ago
6 54 12,868 views

Big Ideas for Better Schools: Ten Ways to Improve Education

Last comment 1 week 6 days ago
9 619 68,549 views

Collaboration: Key to Innovation

Last comment 3 weeks 1 day ago
4 1,470 6,929 views

Browse

Three students are standing on the grass, a close up on their arms extended, smartphones in their hands, and Pokemon Go on their screens.
Article

Makerspace Stories and Social Media: Leveraging the Learning

By assigning students a one-minute, social-media-friendly video reflecting on their makerspace experience, you encourage them to bring their learning into the world where they live.

2 85 3,217 views
A young boy is lying in the grass with a pencil in his hand, looking down at a red notebook filled with yellow paper
article

Resources and Downloads to Facilitate Inquiry-Based Learning

Find information, strategies, protocols, and tools to promote curiosity and engage students in asking questions, thinking critically, and solving problems.

6 3,072 58,650 views
A young boy standing outside in the grass has a robotic right hand, and he's smiling, holding a blue and red plastic horseshoe.
Article

Finding an Authentic Goal for Your PBL Classroom

Invite students in on the decision-making process when selecting an authentic goal for your class PBL unit and you will have increased their ownership of the unit from the get-go.

5 113 6,929 views
Photo of students cooking together
article

Resources for Getting Started With Project-Based Learning

Explore Edutopia's curated compilation of online resources for understanding and beginning to implement project-based learning.

12 8,969 73,745 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 13,858 views
A fifth-grade girl is kneeling on a basketball court, holding a young pre-school girl with special needs. They're both looking at each other and smiling.
Article

Project Au-Some: Building Empathy and Collaboration

Through partnering with a preschool special ed class, fifth-grade students learned and taught their community about developmental disabilities, enhancing their own empathy in the process.

2,472 6,187 views
11 boys standing in front of a two-story house they have been renovating
Article

Constructive Thinking and the Perfect Fixer-Upper

High school students can take a class that, through a joint effort by their school district and community, lets them redesign and remodel a house.

678 3,217 views

Pages

A closeup of a female teacher standing in front of a projector. It looks as if she's addressing her class, speaking, with her hands out, gesturing.
Article

How to Write Effective Driving Questions for Project-Based Learning

Good driving questions are written to help guide the teacher and the student.

3 206 101,957 views
article

Project-Based Learning: Real-World Issues Motivate Students

Concrete, authentic project-based learning helps students illustrate core knowledge.

80 378 96,017 views
Students working on projects
article

Six Steps for Planning a Successful Project

Use these guiding principles to pull together projects with the time and resources you have.

10 773 94,780 views
Article

Getting Started With Project-Based Learning (Hint: Don't Go Crazy)

If you're new to project-based learning, Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller eases you into the approach with four suggestions to help you stay sane and begin mastering PBL.

7 243 91,316 views
Graphic of lightbulb
article

Resources for Assessment in Project-Based Learning

Looking for tools and strategies for effective assessment in project-based learning? To support you, we've assembled this guide to helpful resources from Edutopia and beyond.

4 4,529 84,386 views
article

Taking It to the Class: Green Projects for the Classroom

Try these great lesson ideas for environmentally conscious teachers (and their lucky students).

8 106 84,386 views
Inquiry-Based Learning: Developing Student-Driven Questions
Schools That Work

Inquiry-Based Learning: Developing Student-Driven Questions

Wildwood IB World Magnet School uses the inquiry-based model to put students in charge of their learning, with lessons that stem from student questions and harness the power of curiosity.

2 560 80,427 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 78,447 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 3,450 106,411 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 2,970 views