Place-Based Education–In Cities Too

June 14, 2022

When first conceived, PBE focused on getting kids outside into nature, but now urban programs are succeeding in places at diverse as Oakland, Louisville, Boston, Portland and New York. In Detroit the Boggs School uses PBE to engage elementary students in local heritage, cultures, landscapes, opportunities and experiences. These community activities supply the material for the study of language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, and other subjects.

The following principles are found in the Place-Based Education model:

  • Learning takes place in the local community, environment, or schoolyard.
  • Learning focuses on local themes, systems, and content.
  • Learning is personally relevant to each learner.
  • Learning experiences contribute to the community’s vitality and environmental quality.
  • Learning is supported by strong and varied partnerships with local residents, organizations, businesses, and government.
  • Learning is interdisciplinary.
  • Learning experiences are tailored to the local audience.
  • Learning is grounded in and supports the development of a love for one’s place.
  • Local learning serves as the foundation for understanding and participating in regional and global issues.

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