The idea behind place-based education is simple yet compelling: It uses the environment around you, and even the entire world, to learn. Instead of learning and memorizing by rote, students apply what they learn. After all, the purpose of knowledge is to be able to use what you learn in real-world situations, whether at home or in a career, and this type of learning facilitates that.
Education trends may come and go, but place-based education has grown in importance in recent years. While place-based education may seem like a new concept, the idea of incorporating local issues and knowledge into an educational curriculum was the way children learned before formal schools were created. Most children were taught by their families and by the people in their communities, not from a teacher in a classroom. One of the compelling aspects of place-based learning is that it helps students develop connections to their communities as well as to the world around them in a way they might not in a traditional classroom.
Place-based learning can take place in parks, in museums, anywhere. Learners participate and reap numerous benefits, including higher levels of engagement, academic achievements and a great sense of involvement in their local communities. It can help increase teacher engagement as well. This kind of learning can also create strong bonds between learners and their parents and the local environment and social organizations, which can help enhance overall community quality of life. Students can also help address local environmental issues. The attached resource, The Power of Place-Based Learning, describes more about this growing educational trend.