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 2 weeks 6 days ago
24 4,756 139,275 views

No Books, No Problem: Teaching Without a Text

Last comment 1 week 4 days ago
13 98 24,417 views

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

Last comment 1 day 9 hours ago
12 193 15,697 views

Deeper Learning—for Teachers

Thu, 02/23/2017 - 10:00
5 953 5,376 views

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

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 06:00
12 193 15,697 views

What the Heck Is Project-Based Learning?

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 11:43
42 3,056 110,872 views

Browse

Four students sitting across from each other, one girl standing in the middle, all with post-it's on their foreheads
Article

5 Ways of Bringing Student Passions to Student Learning

Learning and learning outcomes are more meaningful to students when teachers engage their passions, unleash their creativity, and give them time and tools for innovation.

3 1,012 18,188 views
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Article

What the Heck Is Project-Based Learning?

In project-based learning, students show what they learn as they journey through the unit, interact with its lessons, collaborate with each other, and assess themselves and each other.

42 3,056 110,872 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 1,017 36,127 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 8,720 views
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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.

24 4,756 139,275 views
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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 7,724 views
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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.

404 12,707 views

Pages

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.

21 194 30,895 views
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 34 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.

18 987 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.

3,745 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 1,517 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.

24 159 29,151 views

Pages

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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