The Power of Place An exploration, thought leadership campaign and book. Order the Book The Power of Place

The Power of Place

“Place: it’s where we’re from; it’s where we’re going. . . . It asks for our attention and care. If we pay attention, place has much to teach us.”

With this belief as a foundation, The Power of Place offers a comprehensive and compelling case for making communities the locus of learning for students of all ages and backgrounds.

Dispelling the notion that place-based education is an approach limited to those who can afford it, the authors describe how schools in diverse contexts urban and rural, public and private have adopted place-based programs as a way to better engage students and attain three important goals of education: student agency, equity, and community.

Place-Based Education (PBE) is an approach to education that takes advantage of geography to make learning authentic, meaningful and engaging for learners. PBE is defined as an immersive learning experience that “places students in local heritage, cultures, landscapes, opportunities and experiences–using these as a foundation for the study of language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and other subjects across the curriculum.” We hope you enjoy our multi-year campaign of developing school and community profiles, resources and our new guide to PBE “The Power of Place”.


What is Place-Based Education and Why Does it Matter?

 Place-Based Education

Quick Start Guide to Place-Based Professional

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Beyond the Forest

An Answer to Innovative Education “Beyond the Forest”

As the world increasingly becomes more interconnected and technologically dependent, are we ultimately leading more purposeful lives? Andreia Mitrea, edupreneur and CEO of Colina Learning Center (CLC), explores an educational model to ensure the answer is YES.
Gerry Irrizary’s maker lab at The Urban Assembly Maker Academy

What’s the Right High School Size and Structure?

The size of high school institutions dictate how learners experience their secondary years but are smaller networks of education the answer?
Project Based Learning

The Trail to Recovery: Addressing Learning Gaps Through Project-Based Learning

Teachers need to address COVID-caused learning gaps through pedagogical approaches associated with high-quality project-based learning.
Yoga ed

Yoga Ed. Addresses Trauma Through Teacher, Student Self-Care

YOGA ed.'s online curriculum and coaching focuses on trauma-informed education approach for optimal teacher and student mental health, wellness, and performance.
Nalukai Academy

Nalukai Academy: Harvesting Hawai’i’s Next Generation of Leaders

Whether the goal is to move off of the islands or lay roots in Hawaiʻi, Nalukai Academy prepares its youth for an entrepreneurial future that will lead to stewardship and a positive impact on their community.
fernande raine

Dr. Fernande Raine On Using History and Museums to Incubate Changemakers

On this episode of the Getting Smart Podcast, Tom is joined by Fernande Raine, founder and CEO of Got history.

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fernande raine

Dr. Fernande Raine On Using History and Museums to Incubate Changemakers

On this episode of the Getting Smart Podcast, Tom is joined by Fernande Raine, founder and CEO of Got history.

Podcast: Rachel Wigglesworth on Learning at Home

More than 36 million of about 50 million US students are learning remotely during the Coronavirus outbreak. But learning at home comes with challenges.

Podcast: Francisco Guajardo on the Language of Place

In this week’s podcast, Tom is speaking with Dr. Francisco Gaujardo. Francisco is a leading voice in bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural education and a noted expert in place-based education.

Getting Smart Podcast | Experiencing Place-Based Education at Teton Science Schools

I had the opportunity to spend two days in the beautiful Teton Mountain range experiencing my own place-based learning at Teton Science Schools. Join me on this "audio field trip" for your own place-based experience.

Podcast: Emily Liebtag and Nate McClennen on the Power of Place

On this week's podcast, Tom Vander Ark, Dr. Emily Liebtag, and Nate McClennon discuss their newly published book, The Power of Place: Authentic Learning Through Place-Based Education.

Learner-Centered Iowa BIG Propels Jemar Lee

Emily from the Getting Smart team interviews Jemar Lee, a former student from Iowa BIG, a place-based and learner-centered school in Cedar Rapids and a Next-Generation Learning Challenge and XQ Super School winner.