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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!


One-Day Workshops linked to School Programs

Open to all educators who want to learn more about a specific subject, these workshops help to integrate our field trip topics with classroom work. If you're a homeschooling parent, farmer hosting schools on your farm, or you have a special interest in a topic, come learn from experts in the field. You'll also observe and model appropriate teaching methods and begin to develop assessment techniques.

Watershed for Every Classroom

Various dates in July and October, 2012; February and May, 2013
A Watershed for Every Classroom (WEC) is a year-long professional development experience for educators in the Lake Champlain Basin (Vermont, New York and Quebec), brought to you by CBEI. It offers teachers inspiration, knowledge and skills to frame exciting watershed education.

2012-2013 Dates:
Monday-Friday, July 9-13 (with Thursday night overnight in Adirondacks);
Friday and Saturday, October 19-20 (with overnight in northern Basin);
Friday and Saturday, February 8-9 (with overnight option in Burlington);
Friday and Saturday, May 3-4 (with overnight in location TBA);

Forest for Every Classroom

Starts April 26, 2013
A Forest for Every Classroom (FFEC) is a unique professional development program for educators focused on place-based education. Teachers who participate in FFEC develop curriculum that foster student understanding of and appreciation for the public lands in their communities. The teacher-developed curricula integrate hands-on natural and cultural explorations that address concepts in ecology, sense of place, stewardship, and civics. At the heart of the FFEC program is the belief that students who are immersed in the interdisciplinary study of "place" are more eager to learn and be involved in the stewardship of their communities and public lands. Inspired by a common vision of students learning from and caring for public lands, Shelburne Farms, the Conservation Study Institute, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, the Green Mountain National Forest, and the Northeast Office of the National Wildlife Federation have joined efforts to create A Forest for Every Classroom. FFEC is also run in other states from New Hampshire to Montana.

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Neighborhood Renewal Project

Inner-city elementary students participate in the improvement and renewal of their school and community. Through partnerships with neighborhood organizations, students restore the adjacent school garden and adopted a city block. Field trips to local nature centers and suburban areas allow students to compare different neighborhoods and spark restoration ideas for their own communities.

William Hunter Elementary School
Philadelphia, PA

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