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Module 2: Community-Based Education. Jennifer Wheeler Graduate Assistant. Neil Knobloch Assistant Professor. Learning Objectives. Identify principles of community-based learning Define community based learning Explain the importance of context in community-based learning

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module 2 community based education

Module 2: Community-Based Education

Jennifer Wheeler

Graduate Assistant

Neil Knobloch

Assistant Professor

learning objectives
Learning Objectives
  • Identify principles of community-based learning
  • Define community based learning
  • Explain the importance of context in community-based learning
  • Discuss benefits and criticisms of community based learning
key terms concepts
Community-based education

Place-based education


Civic duty

Learning environment

Community Gardens

Cultural resources

Historical resources

Natural resources

Democratic values

Environmental stewardship

Key Terms & Concepts
community based education
Community-Based Education
  • Community-based (or place-based) education uses local cultural, historic, and/or natural resources to teach K–12 curricula. Learning is rooted in the unique history, culture, environment, literature, economy, and art of a particular place.
  • The community provides a context for this learning, and community members serve as resources and partners in teaching. Activities, lesson plans, and units of study may focus on community gardens, the urban and rural landscape, or local human-environment interactions.
  • This approach to education engages students academically by combining real-world experience with classroom learning. It promotescitizenship and prepares students to respect and live well in their community. Community-based learning helps schools and communities work together.


why is local context important
Why is local context important?
  • Brings learning to life (Yeager, 2003)
  • Allows youth to develop a sense of civic duty and responsibility to become active citizens (Yeager, 2003)
  • Helps youth learn how to deal with real-life situations, in a safe learning environment (Yeager, 2003)
principles of place based learning
Principles of Place-based Learning
  • Collaboration of school and community
  • Academic work contributes to place where students live
  • Schools mimic democratic values they wish to instill
  • Decision-making about education is decided by experts within and outside of the school
  • All participants review each other’s performance using multiple measures
  • School and community support students, teachers, and mentors in these roles


examples of placed based learning
East Feliciana, LA Project Connect

Place-based education to teach grade school children who previously were performing well below required levels

4th graders state science testes increased 13 points in 1 year, equaling the state average

“By doing hands-on activities, students don’t just learn concepts, [they] remember them.”—Knight Roddy, project coordinator of Project Connect


Examples of Placed-Based Learning
examples of placed based learning1
Gardening in the Schoolyard: “It’s a math, science, social studies, reading, art….kind a thing.”

Many different subjects can be taught in a single garden, allowing practical, hands-on learning that remains with youth for years to come

Encourages collaboration among community members of different walks of life

Used to teach youth about gardening, while also including lessons from other subjects as well as life lessons that cannot be learned in the classroom

(Kirschbaum, 1999)

Examples of Placed-Based Learning
more examples of place based learning
More Examples of Place-based Learning
  • Junior Master Gardener Program:
  • Kidsgardening: and
  • Cornell Garden Based Learning:
does place based learning work
Does place-based learning work?
  • Positive effects on student learning (Loveland, 2002)
  • Positive effects on cognitive and social development (Loveland, 2002)
  • Positive effects on environmental stewardship (Loveland, 2002)
  • Positive effects on well-being and safety(Loveland, 2002)
community gardens
Community Gardens
  • Neighborhood
  • Public Housing
  • Senior Center or Housing
  • Intergenerational Mentoring
  • Therapy & Rehabilitation
  • Youth Development
  • Community Supported Agriculture (Economic Development)
  • Food Bank
  • School Gardens
food and health
Food and Health
  • Urban Garden Project
  • Urban Gardening
  • Greenthumb
personal development
Personal Development
  • Garden Mosaics
  • The Miracle Garden
  • Bay Point Garden Project
  • Connecting Youth and Elders – Intergenerational Mentoring Program
food for the hungry
Food for the Hungry
  • Atlanta Community Food Bank
  • Plant a Row for the Hungry
  • Second Harvest
school gardens
School Gardens
  • Food & Nutrition
  • Landscaping
  • Environmental Education
  • Energy Conservation
  • Outdoor Learning Environments
    • Ecological and Agricultural Literacy
    • Interdisciplinary Learning
    • Service Learning
why community gardens work
Why community gardens work?
  • People-plant interactions
    • Positive human psychological benefits
    • Restoration and fascination
    • Development of healthy-human communities
      • More livable environment
      • Better community image
      • Create opportunities to work together
  • Source:
starting a community garden
Starting a Community Garden
  • Garden Committee
  • Purpose and Objectives
  • Student Gardening Activities
  • Year-around Garden Plan
  • Garden Site & Design
  • Build the Garden
  • Sources:

  • Place-based or community-based learning uses the local context to create learning opportunities for youth K-12
  • Context brings learning to life (Yeager, 2003)
  • Collaboration on academic work, service work, and evaluation occurs between members of the school and the community
  • Place-based learning has shown several positive effects among youth (Loveland, 2002)
  • Community gardens can serve various purposes
review questions
Review Questions
  • What is the importance of context in place-based learning?
  • What are the guiding principles of place-based learning?
  • How can place-based learning be used as a tool to teach horticulture education?
to learn more about place based learning read the following
To learn more about place-based learning, read the following:
  • Principles of Place-Based Learning
  • Why should teachers use local contexts for learning and youth development?
  • Nature Nurtures -
  • Connecting Communities and Classrooms

  • Standards, Testing, and Place-Based Learning
  • Schoolyard Learning: The Impact of School Grounds (on WebCT)
  • Gardening in the Schoolyard (on WebCT)
  • Findings from the Evaluation Study of The Edible Schoolyard (on WebCT)
school garden resources
School Garden Resources
  • Slow Foods USA
  • Eco-School Design
  • School Lunch Initiative
  • Edible Schoolyard
  • Landscaping
  • Nature Nurtures
  • Evergreen
  • Outdoor Learning Environments
  • Young Children and Nature
  • Ecological Literacy
  • Agricultural Literacy
  • Place-based learning:
  • Elaina Loveland, Connecting Communities and Classrooms:
  • Robert Yeager, Place-based Education: What Rural Schools Need to Stimulate Real Learning:
  • Kirschbaum, P. R. (1999). Gardening in the Schoolyard: It’s a math, social studies, science, reading, art…kind a thing. Community Greening Review, 2-14.