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 3 weeks 1 day ago
30 5,695 139,275 views

Core Strategies for Innovation and Reform in Learning

Last comment 3 weeks 4 hours ago
10 279 218,505 views

An Introduction to Project-Based Learning

Last comment 5 days 6 hours ago
26 576 117,599 views

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.

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.
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 24,417 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 7,225 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 1,775 18,188 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 2,492 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.

12 222 15,697 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.

5 190 25,912 views

Pages

article

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.

13 382 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.

64 49,831 views
Embedding Assessment Throughout the Project (Keys to PBL Series Part 5)
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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.

2 140 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 3,450 109,377 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...

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