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Research

Student Achievement

Students participating in place-based education often show more enthusiasm for learning because it is more relevant to their daily life, their home, and community. Students often exhibit:

  • Higher scores on standardized measures of academic achievement (reading, writing, math, science, social studies, GPA)
  • Improved behavior in class, greater pride and ownership in their accomplishments; increases in self-esteem, conflict resolution, problem solving
  • Higher-level thinking skills

“One thing we know is that kids’ writing is much more interesting, complex, and detailed if they’ve had rich experience…The current first grade has about a third of the kids who didn’t have Kindergarten here and in general it is breathtaking the difference in the academic achievement.”

– Principal, CO-SEED Young Achievers School

Teacher Change

Teachers who practice place-based education:

  • become more excited and motivated to develop curriculum, more likely to use local resources for teaching and learning, and are more engaged with students
  • Collaborate more effectively with other educators and
  • Experience professional growth and show greater desire to take additional place-based education training

School and Community Improvement

Place-based education initiatives bring life to classrooms and communities. The results are visible and diverse. Children create schoolyard gardens, improve wildlife habitat, design and build walking trails through public parks, celebrate their cultural heritage in public presentations and published books, mentor younger students, and help community elders and local organizations.

Key Research and Findings