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?

Quick Start Guide to Implementing Place-Based Education

Quick Start Guide to Place-Based Professional

21 Tips for Connecting Learners to Their Community

By: Becs Boyd. Successfully bringing learning out of the classroom requires good relationships between educators, administrators, students and the community. These tips can help in getting started with Place-Based Education.

The Power of Place

“The Power of Place” describes how schools have adopted place-based programs as a way to better engage students and the idea of community as the classroom is more relevant today than ever before.

How to Give Students Future-Ready Skills Through Community Service

With community-engaged projects, students learn to solve problems, think creatively, manage uncertainty, and most importantly, how to coordinate and work with others. According to The World Economic Forum, these are the same top 5 future skills needed for 2020.

5 Tech-Free Classroom Innovations, and Ideas for Getting Started

We don’t need unlimited funding or fancy high-tech toys to innovate our practice. Often, we just need to think differently. Here are five simple tech-free innovative learning experiences that will help you and your students think differently.

Podcast: Ed Hidalgo on Introducing Youth to The World of Work

In today's episode and Part Two of a series, Tom Vander Ark is continuing the conversation about starting career education early with Ed Hidalgo and Dr. David Bluestein.

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

As part of a three-part series sharing information and experiences we've gathered from dozens of contributors around the power of Place-Based Education (PBE), this first publication provides an overview of PBE including definitions, benefits and examples.

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 | Implementing Place-Based Education

The second podcast in our Place-Based Education campaign shares the perspectives of the teachers, leaders and learners at Teton Science Schools, with advice on how to implement PBE in your classroom, school, campus and community.

Giving the Gift of Place

In this episode Tom & Emily take you on a virtual field trip to Murie Ranch, in the Grand Teton National Park, to talk about place-based education with Christen Girard and Nate McClennen

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.

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.