Benefits of Place Based Learning PEEC Report, 2010

Place Based Education Evaluation Collaboration

PBE immerses students in local heritage, culture, ecology, landscapes, opportunities, and experiences as a foundation for the study of language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, and other subjects. Place-based education encourages teachers and students to use the schoolyard, community, public lands, and other special places as resources, turning communities into classrooms. Project-focused and inherently tailored by local people to local realities, place-based education is equally relevant in small towns and big cities, equally effective for kindergarteners and high school students. "Place-based Education Evaluation Collaborative is undertaking a rigorous and ongoing evaluation process to gauge the effectiveness and outcomes of the place-based education model. Since forming in 2001, the Collaborative has instituted individual and cross-program evaluations of ten place-based education programs representing more than 100 schools (rural, suburban, and urban) covering twelve states."The body of evidence reflects more than 1,000 adult interviews or focus group participants; more than 250 student interviews; more than 900 educator surveys; more than 2,700 student surveys; extensive document review; and dozens of on-site observations. "The findings are clear: place-based education fosters students’ connection to place and creates vibrant partnerships between schools and communities. It boosts student achievement and improves environmental, social, and economic vitality. In short, place-based education helps students learn to take care of the world by understanding where they live and taking action in their own backyards and communities. 

Pedagogical Area
  • place-based education, environment as integrating context (EIC)
  • cultural education
  • agricultural/ food education
  • environmental education
  • outdoor education, experiential education
  • service learning
  • education for sustainability
Subject Area
  • science, math, engineering, technology (STEM)
  • reading, writing, English as a second language
  • environmental science, environmental studies, ecological restoration
  • agriculture, plant and soil science, food systems
  • academic acheivement, general
Delivery Area
  • school based
  • whole school change
  • professional development
Outcome Area
  • academic performance
  • civic engagement
  • self efficacy
  • teacher practice
Participant Area
  • student
  • educator
  • school
Demographic Area
  • urban
  • suburban
Age Area
  • early childhood (2-5 years old)
  • elementary (6-11 years old)
  • middle school (12-14 years old)
  • high school (14-18 years old)
  • PEEC Cross-Program (XP)