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What is Place-Based Education?

Place-based education (PBE) immerses 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. PBE emphasizes learning through participation in service projects for the local school and/or community.

Research has shown that well-designed initiatives can achieve the goals outlined below. Learn more about the principles of the place-based education and answers to frequently asked questions.

Place-based Education Goals

Place-based education can "feed three birds with the same seed" as it addresses the integrated goals of:

Student Achievement

PBE boosts students' engagement, academic achievement, and sense of personal efficacy as stewards of their local environment and community. It also can re-energize teachers.

Community Social and Economic Vitality

PBE forges strong ties between local social and environmental organizations and their constituencies in the schools and community, which helps to improve quality of life and economic vitality.

Ecological Integrity

Through project-based learning, students make tangible contributions to resolving local environmental issues and conserving local environmental quality.


Louisiana Voices: Naming Traditions

What do first and last names tell us about ourselves and our neighbors? How do parents and cultures name their children? After the 2005 Hurricane Katrina, thousands of children found themselves in new schools. Classrooms that may have been primarily one ethnicity were now a mix of cultures. Educators used activities that focused on the students and their heritage to develop a cohesive classroom culture. Louisiana Voices offered numerous curriculum materials and resources to educators, including an activity in which students researched how they were named, what their name means, and the names of their family members. Students shared their stories with one another, developing a greater understanding of each other. This is a project of the Louisiana Voices Folklife in Education Project.

Read More Vignettes