place based education

One of the most intriguing concepts that I have stumbled upon in my attempt at a career in education is “place based education” aka subsistence based education. The idea of taking the examining the environment where you live, then extrapolating subect matter i.e.(math, science, social studies, etc) makes more sense to me than anything else I have encountered in my “educational” studies.

Place based education (PBE) is the complete opposite of virtual education   (VE). In PBE, a student explores their environment, poses questions, and makes connections. It is a natural learning style, because it relflects the nature that the student lives in. In VE, a student sits at a computer and learns about other peoples environments. This may or may not make sense to the student based on their own experience.

I used place based education last year in my teaching assignment. I taught the children in   a remote logging and fishing community how to cruise timber, set up a cost projection (in a spreadsheet) for a logging business. We did a unit on marine biology and oyster farming (including a tour of local oyster farms). The summed up the year with a survey of native plants, and a plant propagation unit (which the students started seeds and sold seedlings to the community). I had my students present their findings in documents, spreadsheets, and presentations (and yes, I even had some present podcasts for you Apple fans).

In my opinion, place based education is a superior way to learn, it fosters creativity, and a love for learning. I also think that place based education is the appropriate method to teach in remote Alaskan villages where the environment and culture long to be preserved.

And of course, the obligitory link to support my position: (this is worth looking at for you prospective teachers).

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