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 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.

12 286 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.

5 199 25,912 views
Photo of two boys playing violins
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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
Photo of students working on robot
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Resources and Downloads for STEM

Explore ways to use STEM lessons and approaches to help students practice cross-disciplinary thinking and build skills in science, technology, engineering, and math.

1 112 22,922 views
An young girl with rainbow-knitted headphones is sitting at a table with her female teacher. They're both looking at a long, thin sheet of paper, and the young girl is holding the tip of the pencil against the paper, pointing at something.
Article

6 Strategies for Differentiated Instruction in Project-Based Learning

Blogger Andrew Miller offers six simple, effective approaches to differentiated instruction in project-based learning.

19 6,886 243,096 views
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Integrated Studies Research Review: Evidence-Based Practices and Programs

Evidence points to seven key approaches to integrating curricula that have been shown to be effective.

3 704 31,394 views
Wearing safety goggles, a boy working a drill while a girl steadies the project using two hands
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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.

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Pages

Illo of yellow lightbulb with a hook hanging under the base
Article

Powerful Classroom Lessons: It All Begins With the Hook

The lure or hook when introducing new learning to students matters more than we think.

9 567 38,370 views
Article

Zombie-Based Learning -- "Braaaaaaains!"

From PBL to ZBL, Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller explores a new twist to project-based learning: the pedagogical benefits of Zombies!

23 41 36,377 views
Article

Creating a Welcoming and Intellectually Challenging Classroom

Check out these important strategies for creating an inclusive learning space that also challenges students with rigorous thinking and projects.

9 1,030 36,127 views
Students and community members framing a building.
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Free Resources and Tools for Replicating Project-Based Learning

Educators from High Tech High in San Diego, California, and the Whitfield Career Academy's 21st Century Learning Academy in Dalton, Georgia, have provided these resources for you to use in your own school.

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Research-Supported PBL Practices

At one New Tech Network high school, strategies backed by research make project-based learning effective and engaging for teachers and students.

2 1,071 34,134 views
Article

Tips for Using Project-Based Learning to Teach Math Standards

Andrew Miller of the Buck Institute for Education shares some practical ways to make PBL apply to "real-life" math standards.

3 344 34,134 views
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Article

Teaching Empathy Through Design Thinking

While empathy is the first step in the design thinking process, keep your students focused on this necessary element as they move through definition, ideation, prototyping, and testing.

6 4,129 33,885 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...

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