Project-Based Learning

What is project-based learning (PBL)? 

The Buck Institute for Education (BIE) is a go-to site for PBL and gives this definition of it:

In Project Based Learning (PBL), students go through an extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem, or challenge. While allowing for some degree of student "voice and choice," rigorous projects are carefully planned, managed, and assessed to help students learn key academic content, practice 21st Century Skills (such as collaboration, communication & critical thinking), and create high-quality, authentic products & presentations. Here's a graphic displaying the components of PBL:

Edutopia is also a good resource for PBL:

Here is a page that describes the key elements of PBL and can help you plan a unit.

We also recommend Edutopia's list of PBL resources, which include popular Edutopia articles and videos (including links organized by grade level) and outside resources such as PBL research and organizations that use PBL/offer PBL resources. 

NOTE: There's a big difference between Project-Based Learning and Projects. Check out the differences in this blog post.

And here's a school, High Tech High, whose core pedagogy is PBL and whose students do beautiful and amazing work:

Be sure to check out the PBL resources the school offers:

Here is a blog post about our recent visit to the High Tech Schools.

Another favorite video from Edutopia on the need for an inquiry-based, project-based learning classroom:

Students on PBL 

RealSchool is all about student voice, so let's hear what students have to say about PBL:

We also highly recommend Edutopia's reading list for PBL

DIY: Let's get started with PBL!: Project Planning and Assessment

A Step-by-Step Guide to the Best Projects

Twenty Tips for Managing PBL

Project Planning Forms

How to Build A Calendar for Project-Based Learning

Collaboration and Presentation Assessment Rubrics
We like this rubric for Project Design from the Buck Institute of Education:

PBL and Academic Standards and Curricular Requirements

Many people ask whether PBL and inquiry-based learning (IBL) enable students to acquire the skills and content knowledge that state standards mandate they have. Those new to PBL and IBL also ask whether students engaged in that kind of learning perform well on standardized exams.

At Manor New Technology High School in Manor, Texas, PBL creates students who outperform their peers from other schools on state standardized tests. 98% of students at Manor High graduate and 100% of those graduates get accepted to college. Those are amazing public school stats:

The following annotated bibliography on PBL addresses concerns about standards, curriculum requirements and standardized testing:

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