Inspiring exploration, appreciation, and conservation of our natural world.

Protecting Water - Expanding Classrooms - Strengthening Communities

Place-Based Education

The Power of Place-Based Education (PBE)

“In college, Professor Burton V. Barnes took our Woody Plants class on a field trip to Northern Michigan where aspen flourished, and challenged teams of students to dig up the longest aspen root. We certainly could have learned about aspen colonies from a textbook, but that could not compare to the experience of digging trenches in an aspen colony all day, and measuring the incredible lengths of root that they had all spouted from.” – Jenifer Strauss, Story Be Told Productions

What Does PBE Do?

  • Place-Based Education encourages teachers to use the local community as their classroom; to immerse students in the unique environment, history, culture and economy of the place where they live, and then use these learning experiences to form the foundation for the study of language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and other subjects across the curriculum.
  • Place-Based Education emphasizes hands-on, inquiry-based, real-world experiences that involve direct collaboration with community partners who identify needs, share expertise, and enrich the teaching and learning experience by providing support in the form of time and resources.
  • Place-based education provides meaningful and impacting learning experiences, a healthy and supportive school culture, sustainable partnerships between schools and communities, a greater appreciation of the environment, and more frequent and effective acts of stewardship.

The overarching goals of place-based education are:

  • Student Achievement
  • Environmental Protection and Stewardship
  • Community Vitality

The Grand Traverse Stewardship Initiative supports teachers and students as they explore and learn to care for the world around them. By planning and implementing place-based stewardship projects, students, teachers and community partners are training the next generation of leaders and informed environmental stewards.

For projects in action go to the GTSI Blog.