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.

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Browse

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 1,017 36,249 views
Two young women and man sitting together working on laptops
Article

Hackathons as a New Pedagogy

The hackathon, a hands-on, solution-based development model with similarities to PBL, inquiry-based learning, STEAM, and design thinking, could become the ideal 21st-century learning opportunity.

7 241 8,631 views
Boy wearing glasses building with legos
Article

Project-Based Learning vs. Problem-Based Learning vs. X-BL

John Larmer of the Buck Institute for Education clears up any confusion on the difference between project-based learning, problem-based learning, and whatever-else-based learning.

22 2,581 139,323 views
Students walking on a grassy field
Article

PBL Pilot: What Will the Future Bring?

Two fifth grade teachers reflect on their first year with a PBL curriculum, self-evaluating their outcomes and formulating an action plan for next year.

2 357 7,644 views
Illo of a Baltimore Oriole with an olive branch in its mouth
Article

Teachable Moments and Academic Rigor: A Mini-Unit

Teachers present a PBL unit to help students understand, through the violent, tragic events in Ferguson and Baltimore, how public perception affects law enforcement and justice.

402 12,576 views
Girl wearing a cap and a boy sitting at a table on stage
Article

10-Minute Plays: Performing Arts in the History Classroom

By distilling research, writing, and acting into ten-minute plays for an authentic audience, students turn a U.S. history unit into a personally relevant experience.

5 432 10,110 views
Two girls sitting next to each other looking closely at long skinny sticks
Article

A Quiver of Teaching Strategies (Not Just One Silver Bullet)

To develop a class of risk takers, administrators need to encourage faculty to try new teaching strategies so they model for their students risk taking, flexibility, and resilience when failure happens.

2 1,344 5,425 views

Pages

Article

How to Make Your Classroom a Thinking Space

Edutopia blogger Suzie Boss shares an excerpt from her book with Jane Krauss, this time considering how a creative workplace can make all the difference for students.

18 987 30,084 views
Infographic showing the value of educating students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
article

Infographic: The Value of a STEM Education

Knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) can be the key to a successful future. Here's why a STEM education matters and how you can inspire students to pursue STEM careers.

7 1,517 30,084 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 29,837 views
article

Kindergarten Is the Model for Lifelong Learning

Let's keep teaching creativity throughout school and adulthood.

18 1,263 29,837 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.

3,745 29,591 views
Girl adding blue food coloring to her volcano project
Article

5 PBL Best Practices for Redefining the Teacher's Role

PBL changes a teacher's traditional role through framing the learning, helping students develop ideas, consulting as they revise, and encouraging feedback, reflection, and authentic presentations.

5 528 29,098 views
Article

6 Rules to Break for Better, Deeper-Learning Outcomes

Incorporate deeper learning as you empower students to seek knowledge from many sources, use tools relevant to their lives, and embrace the lessons of failure.

24 159 29,098 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 78,176 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...

2 3,450 107,020 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 2,957 views