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Place-based Education (PBE):

  • Immerses students in local heritage, cultures, landscapes, opportunities and experiences;
  • Uses these as a foundation for the study of language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and other subjects across the curriculum; and
  • Emphasizes learning through participation in service projects for the local school and/or community.

Stories From the Field:
Place-based education in action

Student with Chicken Chickens in the Classroom

An educator was teaching first graders a lesson about chickens when something unexpected—and extraordinary—happened: a little chicken leapt across a cultural divide.

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Research and Evaluation:
Making the case for place-based education

Benefits of Place-based Education cover image Highlighted Reports

  • Benefits of Place-based Education
  • Closing the Achievement Gap
  • Quantifying a Relationship Between Place-Based Learning and Environmental Quality
  • Benefits of Nature for Children's Health, Fact Sheet #1
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The Network:
Place-based education in your community and around the world

Shelburne Farms Shelburne Farms

Shelburne Farms is an environmental education center, 1,400-acre working farm, and National Historic Landmark. Our mission is to cultivate a conservation ethic by teaching and demonstrating the stewardship of natural and agricultural resources.

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Learning to Make Choices for the Future cover imageRevised and updated Learning to Make Choices for the Future PBE Manual now available!


Project Seasons for Early Childhood Educators: Cultivating Joy and Wonder

Monday, July 13, 2015 to Thursday, July 16, 2015; 9:00 am-4:30 pm
Enrich your early childhood curriculum using the lens of sustainability. The four days will be rich with opportunities to look at your present curriculum with sustainability in mind, and acquire new activities that are interdisciplinary and hands on. The Farm is our classroom as we explore ways to help young learners make connections in the natural and agricultural worlds.

Farm to School & Preschool: Building Healthier Kids & Healthier Communities

Wednesday, May 6, 2015, 2 sessions: 2-5 pm & 6:30-8 pm
Emily Jackson, Program Director of the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, will share ASAP's success story of connecting young children, food, and farmers. Take part in taste tests, soil exploration, and planting seedlings.

In Bloom in Vermont: Promising Practices in Nature-Based Early Childhood Education

Wednesday, June 10, 2015, 8:30am - 4:00pm
One in a series of four conferences presented by Antioch University New England (link is external) addressing topics such as risk management, designing natural play areas, integrating gardening into the curriculum, using natural elements to explore rhythm, and much more. Sponsors: Shelburne Farms, Four Winds Nature Institute

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Dane County Cultural Tour 2002

Fourth and fifth grade students spent a year studying the cultural history of Dane County, Wisconsin. The student-driven project culminated in a four day, 370 mile road trip of the county. They visited a cheese factory, a Cambodian Buddhist temple, three farms, and a fiddle maker. They also interviewed folk artists, musicians, and community historians. An impressive collection of projects like this, including student work and curricula, can be found at the Wisconsin Teachers of Local Culture website.

Randall Elementary School
Madison, Wisconsin

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