To fulfill our goals, we have selected to implement a Place-Based Education (PBE) program. To this end, we work in close collaboration with the Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coaltion (SEMIS), an organization under both Eastern Michigan University and the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative, which is committed to school-community partnerships to develop students as citizen-stewards of healthy ecological-social systems.
PBE is a nationally renowned and research-based model that has facilitated high student achievement in areas like Oakland, Louisville, Boston, Portland, and New York City. The Boggs School is implementing PBE in Detroit. 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 school and local community, often focused on eco-justice.
The following are the principles of the Place-Based Education model:
- Learning takes place on-site, in the schoolyard, and in the local community and environment.
- Learning focuses on local themes, systems, and content.
- Learning is personally relevant to each learner.
- Learning experiences contribute to the community’s vitality and environmental quality and support the community’s role in fostering global environmental quality.
- Learning is supported by strong and varied partnerships with local residents, organizations, businesses, and government.
- Learning is interdisciplinary.
- Learning experiences are tailored to the local audience.
- Learning is grounded in and supports the development of a love for one’s place.
- Local learning serves as the foundation for understanding and participating in regional and global issues.