Speaker: Dr. Regina Toolin, University of Vermont
The broad idea of connecting teaching and learning to the world beyond the classroom has claimed territory in the American educational landscape for more than a century (Elfer, 2011). Place-based education (PBE) has emerged as a popular model for schooling and is focused on learning that is “rooted in what is local—the unique history, environment, culture, economy, literature, and art of a particular place” (Smith and Sobel, 2010). The power of place-based education stems from a systems approach that utilizes socio-political, ecological, historical, geographical, cultural, and pedagogical lenses to critically examine, analyze and make deeper connections to a particular place over a sustained period of time.
This presentation examines various traditions of place-based education that have evolved over the past few decades. How have liberal, critical, and indigenous perspectives influenced and contributed to models of place-based education? In order to anchor these traditions in relevant practices and experiences, the presentation will highlight the design and implementation of a new undergraduate certificate program and other teacher professional learning programs based on various perspectives, principles and practices of place-based education.