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

An illustration of a dark gray cat with a pink Pop-Tart as its body and a rainbow as its tail against a black background.
Article

Student Choice and Viral Videos

By creating and self-producing viral videos about their PBL topic, thinking like filmmakers will enhance students' ownership and deepen their learning.

6 741 6,916 views
Four young girls are sitting, writing at their desks. Five young students are standing by a projector at the front of the class, pointing at the screen, which is projecting four different sentences marked with blue marker.
Article

Tools for Differentiating Instruction in PBL

Differentiate the content, process, and product of your PBL lessons with tools and practices like Learning Profile Cards, narrative feedback, and design thinking.

1 2,074 24,473 views
Two young students are outside, bending over planks of wood, hammering them together.
Article

Empowering Students With Design Thinking

During a two-week design thinking project, middle-school students drew on their empathy for homeless people to design and build a prototype interim housing unit from shipping pallets.  

612 7,163 views
A group of about 20 young children are sitting and laying down on bean bags in a library. They're listening to a teacher standing in from of them and talking to them.
Article

Talking About Text Structure in the PBL Classroom

Enhance PBL by teaching students how to identify text structure how to and use it within their project-based reading and writing.

3 1,804 18,293 views
An aerial shot of five teachers sitting around a dark brown circular table in light brown cloth-covered chairs. There are three laptops, four notebooks, and three cups of coffee on the table.
Article

The Connective Power of Project-Based Clinical Experiences

A project-based clinical approach develops learning opportunities for both students and teacher candidates, relying on authentic collaborations that involve university faculty and classroom teachers.

1 73 2,470 views
A female teacher is standing at the left side of a classroom. The classroom is empty, except for a large green and brown rug placed side by side with two benches placed on top of them, and shelves are against the back wall with drums on top of them.
Article

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

To help students find their own way in PBL, use mindfulness techniques like tuning into your own body, nonjudgmental observation, and embracing the "don't know" mind.

11 167 15,573 views
STEAM + Project-Based Learning: Real Solutions From Driving Questions
Schools That Work

STEAM + Project-Based Learning: Real Solutions From Driving Questions

At Charles R. Drew Charter School, third-grade students use PBL to prepare for the next Snowpocalypse.

4 210 25,461 views

Pages

article

Big Ideas for Better Schools: Ten Ways to Improve Education

Ideas for students, teachers, schools, and communities.

9 619 68,719 views
Boy at monitors and mixing board for school broadcast
article

Ten Tips for Personalized Learning via Technology

To challenge and support each child at his or her own level, the educators of Forest Lake Elementary deploy a powerful array of digital-technology tools. Discover what your school can learn.

30 3,006 67,731 views
Article

A World of Project Ideas (You Can Steal)

To get off to a flying start planning this summer, borrow good project ideas from other teachers and adapt them to fit your context.

12 88 62,050 views
Project-Based Learning: Success Start to Finish
Schools That Work

What Makes Project-Based Learning a Success?

At this high school in Texas, where every class is project-based, there is a commitment to a consistent process, a focus on relationships, and a commitment to relevance and rigor.

11 388 62,050 views
article

Why Should Schools Embrace Integrated Studies?: It Fosters a Way of Learning that Mimics Real Life

Integrated studies allows students to gain knowledge in a truly interdisciplinary fashion.

12 79 61,062 views
article

Project-Based Learning Workshop Activities

Hands-on lessons you can adapt for your PBL workshops, from our Project-Based Learning Professional Development Guide.

41 59,578 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 58,589 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 78,360 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 3,450 106,787 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 2,964 views