Through place-based learning, students pursue key questions, such as "Where am I?" "What is the nature of this place?" "What sustains this community?" (from David Sobel, Place-Based Education: Connecting Classrooms & Communities.)
Places known deeply are deeply loved — and well-loved places are likely to be protected and cared for by future generations.
Place-based learning is a powerful strategy for schooling for sustainability. It actively engages students by making learning tangible and relevant. It promotes interdisciplinary thinking, an understanding of relationships, and civic engagement — all vital skills for sustainability. By focusing on their local environment, students see ways they can positively impact the world.
There is a growing body of research, summarized in Promise of Place, on the benefits of place-based learning. Among them, higher test scores, better grade point averages, improved classroom behavior, increased self-esteem and problem-solving abilities, and higher-level thinking skills.
The Center for Ecoliteracy encourages place-based learning through activities like mapping the local environment to learn key ecological and cultural principles, through studying the interplay between local society and the environment, and by supporting habitat restoration projects.