Project Based Learning

What is Project-Based Learning?

In PBL, students learn through the collaborative process of designing a solution and creating a product that answers the teacher’s driving question and project requirements. Students must work together to develop a project plan and determine what “product” meets the teacher’s requirements and what skills and knowledge will be required to complete their task(s). These projects are almost always completed through collaboration between 3 to 5 students and often require interdisciplinary skills and knowledge.

PBL seeks to incorporate the core state learning standards with a passionate pursuit of solving real community or global problems. The PBL model provides students with the opportunity to be equipped with the skills needed to be successful in the 21st century while sparking their interest to be innovators in solving real local and global problems. This problem-solving approach to learning charges students to be actively engaged in the learning and skill building that is inherent in the creative process of designing a product or project.

There are several unique aspects that define the PBL approach:

  • Learning takes place within the contexts of authentic tasks, issues, and problems--that are aligned with real-world concerns AND state learning standards.
  • The PBL approach is founded in solid academic research on learning and on the best practices that promote it. This approach stimulates students to take responsibility for their own learning, since there are few lectures, no structured sequence of assigned readings, and so on.
  • PBL is unique in that it fosters collaboration among students, stresses the development of problem solving skills within the context of professional practice, promotes effective reasoning and self-directed learning, and is aimed at increasing motivation for life-long learning.

PBL Videos

Below are a few video about PBL that may help you to understand PBL and imagine how a PBL classroom is a unique and exciting place for students to learn.                                                        

Metro Student Interviews on PBL

Soft Skills - Creativity Soft Skills - Critical Thinking

The Metro Classroom - An Inside LookSoft Skills - Collaboration

Buck Institute for Education (BIE)

Considered one of the leadier in PBL, the Buck Institute for Education (BIE) is dedicated to improving 21st Century teaching and learning throughout the world by creating and disseminating products, practices and knowledge for effective PBL. The BIE website has a host of information including videos, resources, research, and more about PBL.


Edutopia is hosted by The George Lucas Educational Foundation and is dedicated to improving the K-12 learning process by documenting, disseminating, and advocating for innovative, replicable, and evidence-based strategies that prepare students to thrive in their future education, careers, and adult lives.

Metropolitan Schools of Design

Metro Schools' Mission: Nurturing creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration by design.

Metro Schools' Vision: Global learners who lead with the passion to create, the persistence to innovate, and the confidence to design new possibilities for the future.