Giving Compass' Take:

• Authors from Getting Smart explain how place-based education can lead to authentic learning experiences for students and the benefits of this learning model. 

• How can donors support the expansion of place-based education? 

•  Learn more about why place-based education is crucial for students. 

The Power of Place identifies six defining principles of place-based education. Namely, it:

  1. Embeds learning everywhere and views the community as a classroom.
  2. Is centered on individual learners.
  3. Is inquiry-based to help students develop an understanding of their place in the world.
  4. Incorporates local and global thinking and investigations.
  5. Requires design thinking to find solutions to authentic problems.
  6. Is interdisciplinary.

Over the last few years, we’ve done loads of writing on why place-based education is important and powerful which you can see here, but we think it’s best if you hear why place matters to the authors:

Tom Vander Ark: I’m the sum of the places I’ve been and the experiences I’ve accumulated. It wasn’t my parents preaching contribution that convinced me of the merits of service; it was the urban ministries they brought me to for a decade. It wasn’t a picture of the Rockies that won my heart; it was the paradox of fear and wonder that came with being in a spectacular remote setting. It wasn’t any of the classes I took in college that I remember; it was work in strange and wonderful places that shaped my path. Place is powerful, personal and persuasive.

Emily Liebtag: In my first couple of years as an elementary school teacher, I didn’t pay much attention to where students were from or their connection to their communities (although I should have). Once I realized the value and strengths of these connections, I had an entirely new perspective on teaching and learning. I began to realize the incredible amount of untapped potential and creativity in the students that I was trying to contain in my traditional, four-walled classroom. My own most powerful learning experiences have been deeply rooted in place and connected to my community–so why wouldn’t this also be true for my students?

Read the full article about place-based education at Getting Smart.