What is Project-Based Learning?

10 principles to engage and boost students’ learning.

David Weller
5 min readNov 11, 2023


What is project-based learning (or PBL)?

It’s a teaching method where students gain knowledge and skills by investigating and responding to real-world problems or challenges.

Students actively engage in their learning instead of sitting back and trying to absorb information passively. They’re not just learning facts; they’re learning how to think, solve problems, and apply their knowledge.

The Principles of Project-Based Learning

So, you may wonder, what’s at the heart of project-based learning (PBL)? What are PBL core components? PBL isn’t just about letting students loose on a project and hoping for the best.

There are 10 key principles of PBL.

  1. Authenticity: Projects should be meaningful and relevant to students’ lives, cultures, or societal issues. They should reflect the complexity of the real world as much as possible, and help students connect to the content.
  2. Student-Centred Approach: Students are at the centre of the learning process. They take ownership of their learning, decide how they work, and have a say in the direction of their project. While you as the teacher set the parameters…



David Weller

Lessons, stories and visuals to develop your language teaching and learning. 20 years in education, 3 books, and a twice-monthly newsletter.