Place-based Education, My Passion

Using the pond behind the school to teach ecosystems.

~Interviewing local lawmakers to understand the political process.

~Visiting a local business to facilitate an understanding of supply and demand.

Place-based is the belief that teaching happens most effectively through use of the
local culture, politics, art, environment, economy, geography etc....
creating a concrete context in which students can build connections to
the content being taught. It emphasizes the idea that knowledge spirals
and builds upon itself to build a greater global understanding. Grounded
in the philosophy is the notion that experiential learning and
activating the learners' prior knowledge facilitates an optimal learning
experience.

In a society globalized by the Internet, television, various print media, and trade, we often lose sight of what is
immediately around us. We take our local environment for granted,
allowing ourselves to be unaware of simple things that effect our
everyday lives, such as where our food comes from. Fortunately many have
realized this disconnect and have put forth great efforts to study and
mend it at the greater social level, specifically in education. Gary
Snyder the famous poet, philosopher and environmental activist has
addressed this concern through volumes of work. In his book A Place in
Space he suggests, “Knowing who we are and knowing where we are
intimately linked.” David Orr, Gregory Smith and other educators
actively promote “place-based” education, which is described as
“grounding education in local phenomena and students’ lived experience.”

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