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.

PrintPrint
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Share
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 13 hours ago
13 98 24,417 views

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

Last comment 4 days 7 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

photo of young students working on a project
Article

My PBL Failure: 4 Tips for Planning Successful PBL

Here are four lessons learned from a failed PBL unit: align with the school calendar, allow planning time, carefully create the topic and guiding question, and collaborate with peers.

8 658 13,205 views
black and white photo of a young man reading a book
Article

Banned Books, Censorship - and PBL?

Nothing inspires the need to read like banned books! Here's how to incorporate literacy, voice and choice, and social studies into one engaging PBL project.

4 677 2,990 views
photo of students working on creative projects
Article

The Key to Creative Classrooms

Through awareness, empowerment, practice, and methodology, teachers and parents can enhance their own creative skills as a way to begin modeling creativity for their children.

3 81 6,229 views
photo of a city plan created by students on paper with wooden blocks
Article

Geo-Literacy Projects Build Students' Understanding of Our Complex World

Teaching students how to organize, visualize, and analyze information that relates to local and global issues is critical preparation for living in our connected and fast-changing world.

3 91 15,946 views
Anthony Hubbard, executive director of YouthBuild Providence, sitting at a table with students using laptops
Article

Hunting for Hacks in a Moldable Classroom

One alternative school lives its real-world, problem-based learning approach through open-space classrooms, hands-on projects with relevant outcomes, and a strong sense of community.

1 66 3,239 views
Article

3 Ways to Plan for Diverse Learners: What Teachers Do

Teachers aiming to differentiate learning in their classroom can focus on content, process, and product in giving students opportunities to grow and shine as individuals.

57 2,975 303,458 views
Inquiry-Based Learning: Developing Student-Driven Questions
Schools That Work

Inquiry-Based Learning: Developing Student-Driven Questions

Wildwood IB World Magnet School uses the inquiry-based model to put students in charge of their learning, with lessons that stem from student questions and harness the power of curiosity.

2 562 83,715 views

Pages

Heart made out of pink post-its surrounded by yellow post-its
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 2,911 33,885 views
Boys playing guitar and singing
article

10 Takeaway Tips for Project-Based Learning

At King Middle School and Casco Bay High School, in Portland, Maine, every student works in a widely hailed project-learning method called expeditionary learning. Discover what your school can learn.

3 132 33,138 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.
Article

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 1,248 31,394 views
Four boys with an adult on the football field crouched around a rocket
article

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.

3 702 31,394 views
Article

Bringing Authenticity to the Classroom

Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller examines a few of the ways to bring authenticity into your PBL classroom.

22 3,310 31,144 views
article

Kindergarten Is the Model for Lifelong Learning

Let's keep teaching creativity throughout school and adulthood.

18 1,263 31,144 views
article

Project-Based Learning Research: Annotated Bibliography

Dig deeper into the specific articles, studies, and reports included in our project-based learning research review.

2 45 30,895 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