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 4 days 21 hours ago
29 5,659 139,275 views

Designing Learning That Matters

Last comment 1 week 4 days ago
9 181 18,687 views

Learning by Doing: A Teacher Transitions Into PBL

Last comment 4 weeks 17 hours ago
22 197 30,895 views

Turning the Community Into a Classroom

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 06:00
4 557 2,990 views

A Content-Rich Maker Project

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 10:00
2 526 3,516 views

Browse

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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 5,241 87,950 views
Two teenage boys in protective goggles, green aprons, and blue gloves are hovering over a desk holding a screwdriver, using it with some plastic-metal device.
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4 Practices for Increasing Student Engagement

Spend the first five minutes of each class focusing on your students as people. Then keep them engaged through the agency of makerspaces, PBL, or Genius Hour/20 Time.

7 326 26,161 views
Chest down, a teen is sitting at a hand-made desk. It's made of a cardboard triangular desktop, three cardboard tubes as desk legs -- with tennis balls at the bottom of two of them -- and two solid, cylindrical wooden rods connecting the desk legs.
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Architecture, Psychology... and Furniture?

Follow the process as psychology and architecture classes join forces to design and build furniture for their high school's new learning spaces.

3,745 30,148 views
Two young girls are standing on grass next to a table with paper, stamp ink, crayons, and glove-like cloth that they're using as stamps. One girl is pushing her glove into the stamp ink, and the other girl is holding up her glove.
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Making Room for Children's Ideas Through PBL

An educator recognizes the value of PBL while watching his young son play creatively with engineering design, scaling, iterating, imagining, selecting materials, and mapping steps toward a goal.

3 2,499 12,956 views
A curly-haired teenage girl is standing in a classroom holding a metal circle that's connected to two miniature red light bulbs. One of them is lit.
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Design Thinking and PBL

Design thinking and PBL can bridge what we know and how we innovate. Try combining these two practices as an instructional framework for teaching 21st-century skills.

40 1,193 31,394 views
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.
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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.

7 64 7,225 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.
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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 24,417 views

Pages

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10 Big Ideas of School Leadership

Middle school principal Mike McCarthy shares 30 years of wisdom on how to run a school well.

41 961 68,267 views
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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 66,772 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.

11 374 62,538 views
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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 62,289 views
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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 61,292 views
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Project-Based Learning Workshop Activities

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

41 60,545 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
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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 60,046 views

Pages

Girls testing wing strength using plywood
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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
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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...

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