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

An Example of PBL in Early Elementary: How I Started

Last comment 1 week 2 days ago
5 259 25,414 views

Help! Need PBL Ideas for Science Units

Last comment 1 week 6 days ago
1

Using PBL in Spanish

Last comment 1 week 5 days ago
32 11 8,222 views

New Study Shows the Impact of PBL on Student Achievement

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 07:30
18 3,968 22,858 views

New Study Shows the Impact of PBL on Student Achievement

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 07:30
18 3,968 22,858 views

Starting a Pilot Program in Our School

Fri, 01/30/2015 - 08:58
7 2 334 views

Browse

Three students and a teacher are in a green room, setting up the lighting to film.
Article

Studio Schools: Career-Focused Secondary Education

In England, Studio Schools (a model similar to U.S. charter schools) combine academic and vocational pathways with strong employer engagement to make learning relevant.

62 2,492 views
Three adults are standing outside of the doors of a school hallway, below a sign that says, "Dream Factory."
Article

Finding the Sweet Spot: Creativity, Candy, and Commerce

Through the design, manufacture, and marketing of their own signature chocolate bars, these middle school students brought curiosity and passion to their STEM learning.

3 71 7,973 views
A boy is hunched over a rectangular device on his desk, drawing.
Article

Project-Based Learning and Gamification: Two Great Tastes That Go Great Together

Prepping for a gamified unit of study or project is very different than prepping for your traditional, linear model. Here are some tips on how to do it.

7 613 24,417 views
photo of a girl working with pen and ink
Article

Giving Students Charge of How They Learn

By letting students determine how they learn, via task design, rubric development, and student-led parent conferences, we see high engagement, in-depth inquiry, and quality work.

6 129 8,222 views
photo of a student working on a robotics project
Article

6 Strategies to Truly Personalize PBL

PBL best embodies personalized learning when you know the whole child, align projects with standards, build a supportive infrastructure, assess often, and get out of the way.

1 82 10,714 views
photo of three young women working on a project together
Article

Learning by Doing: A Teacher Transitions Into PBL

For a successful PBL unit, set clear goals, over plan, make students accountable, give concrete deadlines, share rubrics in advance, and reflect on your methods.

22 1,129 30,895 views
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.

8 660 13,205 views

Pages

Establishing Real-World Connections in Projects (Keys to PBL Series Part 1)
video

Establishing Real-World Connections in Projects (Keys to PBL Series Part 1)

Students are more engaged when learning relates directly to the world they live in. See how to extend your projects beyond the classroom walls.

9 44 30,895 views
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.

18 990 30,895 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.

3,753 30,148 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 1,538 30,148 views
Building Rigorous Projects That Are Core to Learning (Keys to PBL Series Part 2)
video

Building Rigorous Projects That Are Core to Learning (Keys to PBL Series Part 2)

Project-based learning doesn't mean leaving standards behind. Follow these tips to plan projects that challenge your students and align with core learning goals.

3 89 29,899 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.

24 522 29,151 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.

5 559 28,653 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 3,455 102,557 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