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Why it matters

Place-based education may sound like a neat concept, but does it work? How do teachers, struggling to meet state standards and the test-based rigors of modern education, justify place-based education to administrators, or vice versa? What do students and teachers actually gain? And how do you create high quality professional development opportunities, programs or curriculum?

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Students Interview Community Educators

Fourth grade students were asked "Who are teachers in our community? What do teachers in our community teach and what can we learn from them? How are we teachers in our community? What do we want to share with others? What do we dream for the future of our towns?" To answer these questions, students interviewed parents, grandparents, the local hardware store owner, a fireman, daycare teacher, musicians, and others. They used what they learned to create a slideshow, a mural of the community, and house sculptures that honored the community members. They will also be editing audio recordings of their interviews. This project emphasized to students that community members taught them many things: how to hunt and fish, play music, cook, sports, learn academic subjects, and possible career opportunities. This and similar projects can be found at the Vermont Folklife Center website.

Twinfield Union School
Plainfield, Vermont


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