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 2 days ago
24 4,756 139,275 views

No Books, No Problem: Teaching Without a Text

Last comment 2 weeks 16 hours ago
13 98 24,417 views

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

Last comment 4 days 10 hours ago
12 199 15,697 views

Learning by Doing: A Teacher Transitions Into PBL

Mon, 09/21/2015 - 06:00
22 194 30,895 views

Getting Students Into College Is Not Enough

Tue, 02/14/2017 - 12:00
2 782 2,067 views

Deeper Learning—for Teachers

Thu, 02/23/2017 - 10:00
5 957 5,376 views

Browse

Table covered with newspaper and teacher showing something to a boy; girl wearing gloves handling a trout; boy with safety googles looking on
article

Project-Based Learning Research Review

Studies have proven that when implemented well, project-based learning (PBL) can increase retention of content and improve students' attitudes towards learning, among other benefits. Edutopia's PBL research review explores the vast body of research...

1 689 131,053 views
Wearing safety goggles, a boy working a drill while a girl steadies the project using two hands
article

Project-Based Learning Research Review: Evidence-Based Components of Success

There are some critical elements to consider when applying project-based learning in the classroom -- here are some recommendations for research-proven steps.

193 39,366 views
Two boys and a mentor student watching water pour into brightly painted plastic cups causing the wheel to turn
article

Project-Based Learning Research Review: Avoiding Pitfalls

The challenges many teachers face in implementing project-based learning well are not to be taken lightly, but we've compiled a list of strategies to avert the most common issues educators face.

2 129 10,215 views
Three teenagers and an adult are sitting around a table, looking at a lot of pins standing up in a pan, smiling.
Article

Troubleshooting PBL

The perfect PBL experience is ever-changing, so be ready to ask questions, reflect, and revamp your approach while showing complete faith in your students' abilities.

2 37 2,492 views
Two teenage girls are sitting at a small circular table with a textbook laid out, looking at a laptop. They're sitting next to a glass wall that looks out to the school parking lot.
Article

Empowering Students to Change the World

By creating real-world projects with visible and positive outcomes, you can immerse your students in learning 21st-century skills while developing their sense of altruism.

4 123 6,229 views
Teacher standing talking with a student as they watch a girl pouring liquid into cups at a counter
Article

Aligning the Projects With the Standards

PBL can align with CCSS when teachers, knowing their kids' interests and abilities, let projects evolve to meet student needs as well as the standards.

8 139 10,465 views
Boy wearing headphones standing in class operating a camera on a tripod
Article

Service Learning: Growing Action From the Roots of Passion

In 2007, my co-teacher and I noticed that students felt increasingly like the world was "happening to them," as if they had no ability to affect positive change. This, coupled with the question "When am I going to use this?" led to the inspiration...

4 450 4,734 views

Pages

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
article

Resources for Project-Based Learning

Free materials and downloads for building rigorous projects for all grade levels, from our Project-Based Learning Professional Development Guide.

4 5 45,595 views
article

Money Lessons: A Guide to Financial-Literacy Resources

The Internet offers teaching tools on economics for any grade level.

8 58 42,605 views
Article

Does Spelling Count?

Guest blogger Shira Loewenstein, asked by her students whether spelling counts, comes back with a fascinating question of her own: why is the continuum of learning broken down into a handful of unrelated subjects?

18 1,244 42,356 views
Article

Deeper Learning: Highlighting Student Work

Ron Berger, Chief Program Officer of the Expeditionary Learning schools, opens his portfolio of student work to demonstrate the immediate and longterm benefits of deeper learning.

10 22 40,363 views
Photo of two boys playing violins
article

Resources for STEAM

Discover information, examples, and tools related to incorporating aspects of the arts, design, and the humanities into STEM-based school activities.

3 3,336 39,616 views
Wearing safety goggles, a boy working a drill while a girl steadies the project using two hands
article

Project-Based Learning Research Review: Evidence-Based Components of Success

There are some critical elements to consider when applying project-based learning in the classroom -- here are some recommendations for research-proven steps.

193 39,366 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...

1 2 2,990 views