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.

Browse

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.

2,476 5,980 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 2,990 views
A bicycle wheel and balloon make up part of a Rube Goldberg machine.
Article

5-Minute Film Festival: Learning with Rube Goldberg Machines

Building a Rube Goldberg machine is a great way for kids to explore engineering and build teamwork skills. We've gathered a collection of videos to inspire and encourage learning from these elaborate and comical machines.

77 2,741 views
two high school aged students working with a teacher around a computer
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Resources for Building Community Partnerships

Learn how schools can benefit from the support and expertise of local businesses, organizations, and individuals, and discover strategies for fostering successful business and community partnerships.

3 376 20,431 views
Graphic of lightbulb
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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 5,249 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.
Article

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.

7 337 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.
Article

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.

3,753 30,148 views

Pages

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Kids Feel the Power of Poetry in Performance

Through slam poetry, students reach new heights in literacy and in life.

10 257 55,063 views
Article

Innovative Practice: 5 Strategies for the Early Learning Classroom

Project- and play-based learning are essential in the early grades to develop creative learning dispositions during the brain's most active period of synaptic growth.

13 1,391 52,572 views
Project-Based Learning: An Overview
video

Project-Based Learning: An Overview

Seymour Papert, a distinguished professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is among a growing group of scholars who support project-based learning.

64 365 52,073 views
article

Big Thinkers on Education

Some of the most compelling visionaries in the world -- from Sir Ken Robinson to Jane Goodall to Martin Scorsese -- are focusing their attention on how to improve education. Get inspired by their big ideas.

3 1,046 51,077 views
article

Common Ground: Teaching Kids the Benefits Of Working Together

Cooperative learning helps create the essential skill of working (and compromising) within a group.

68 49,831 views
Embedding Assessment Throughout the Project (Keys to PBL Series Part 5)
video

Embedding Assessment Throughout the Project (Keys to PBL Series Part 5)

Assessment can be integrated seamlessly into project-based learning. Find tools for measuring student understanding from the beginning to the end of a project.

2 146 46,592 views
Article

Math, PBL and 21st Century Learning for All Students

Independent researcher and evaluator Jason Ravitz presents evidence from a West Virginia study showing that PBL can indeed support 21st century learning skills among math students.

9 644 46,592 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 3,455 101,215 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