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Place-based Education (PBE):

  • Immerses students in local heritage, cultures, landscapes, opportunities and experiences;
  • Uses these as a foundation for the study of language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and other subjects across the curriculum; and
  • Emphasizes learning through participation in service projects for the local school and/or community.

Stories From the Field:
Place-based education in action

Student with Chicken Chickens in the Classroom

An educator was teaching first graders a lesson about chickens when something unexpected—and extraordinary—happened: a little chicken leapt across a cultural divide.

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Research and Evaluation:
Making the case for place-based education

Benefits of Place-based Education cover image Highlighted Reports

  • Benefits of Place-based Education
  • Closing the Achievement Gap
  • Quantifying a Relationship Between Place-Based Learning and Environmental Quality
  • Benefits of Nature for Children's Health, Fact Sheet #1
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The Network:
Place-based education in your community and around the world

Shelburne Farms Shelburne Farms

Shelburne Farms is an environmental education center, 1,400-acre working farm, and National Historic Landmark. Our mission is to cultivate a conservation ethic by teaching and demonstrating the stewardship of natural and agricultural resources.

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Learning to Make Choices for the Future cover imageRevised and updated Learning to Make Choices for the Future PBE Manual now available!


Project Seasons for Early Childhood Educators: Cultivating Joy and Wonder

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 to Friday, July 14, 2017; 9:00 am-4:30 pm
Are you looking for new ways to connect your program to the community outside of your classroom? Join us at the Farm for hands-on, interdisciplinary activities and explore ways in which these can be adapted to your own learning community. Connect with other early childhood professionals to share best practices over these four days in a picturesque setting, leaving you energized and inspired to create even more meaningful opportunities and experiences within your program.

Education for Sustainability Leadership Academy

Start Date: July 17-19,2017 (3 days) Additional Gathering Dates (7 days) October 27-28, 2017 February 1-3, 2018 Spring 2018 (TBD by group)
A year-long, residential, leadership academy for those wishing to be part of a learning community exploring education for sustainability, systems thinking, and school transformation. ​ Our hope is to support education leaders in creating healthier and more just communities. The EFS Leadership Academy is designed for those in education who want to inspire change in partnership with a peer network committed to ecological integrity, economic vitality, and social justice. We will engage you with new ways of thinking, skills to create change and nurture yourself, and present you with innovative ideas & strategies to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities of the future. At the heart of this work is educators and a sense of hope, love and resilience. Please join us and your colleagues in making a difference in the lives of children, families and communities.

Education for Sustainability Immersion

Thursday, August 17, 2017 to Friday, August 18, 2017
For those wishing to dive deeply into their education for sustainability work in a residential, retreat-like setting at Shelburne Farms. We will hold evening programming on Thursday night.

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STAR Students Research Native Seeds and Plant Traditional Gardens

As part of an independent science project, a student at STAR school, a charter school just outside of Flagstaff, Arizona studied seed corn. He compared traditional indigenous seeds with with commercial seeds. He discovered that the heirloom seeds had better germination rates and contained more nutrients. He went on to win a regional science fair contest. As part of the daily academic curriculum, he and his fellow Navajo students continuously explore the region, and research traditional and experimental techniques for sustainable gardening.

STAR School

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