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Place-based learning is an approach to learning, teaching and leadership in schools that engages the unique background, resources and outcomes of identifiable communities related to their own communities, cultures and natural environments. Meaningful Student Involvement can empower place-based learning to become highly relevant and significant in the lives of today’s learners.

What It Is

Rather than being a separate curriculum or program, place-based learning is similar to Meaningful Student involvement because it is a framework for teaching, learning and leadership that can be infused throughout education, including classrooms, principals’ offices and school boardrooms. Through Student/Adult Partnerships, students work with teachers, community members and other adults to learn from their community’s culture, history, natural environment, local economy, and issues and opportunities. Many years of research and practice show that even very young students can learn about their community. Academic work is tied to place is ways that matter both to students and to others in the community. This is authentic learning, and is often more rigorous than other approaches.

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Published by Adam Fletcher

Adam is the founding director of SoundOut. An author, speaker and consultant, he has worked with K-12 schools, districts, nonprofits and others for more than 15 years. Learn more about him at http://soundout.org/Adam

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