Dr. Peter McInerney et al. review the literature related to the theoretical foundations of place-based education (PBE). They propose that the main task of PBE in schools is “creating opportunities for young people to learn about and care for the ecological and social wellbeing of the community they inhabit and the need to connect schools with communities as part of a concerted effort to improve student engagement and participation.” Further, they argue that a critical perspective in PBE “encourages young people to connect local issues to global environmental, financial and social concerns, such as climate change, water scarcity, poverty and trade. At the end of the article the authors propose several approaches to facilitate critically engaged forms of learning:
- Give students a say in what and how they learn;
- Encourage young people to engage with the big question confronting the global community;
- Build relational trust within schools and communities;
- Develop a sense of student ownership, identity and belongingness;
- Create space for dialogue, reflection and political action;
- Establish an ethical commitment to justice.
McInerney, P., Smyth, J., & Down, B. (2011). Coming to a place near you? The politics and possibilities of a critical pedagogy of place-based education. Asia-Pacific journal of teacher education, 39(1), 3-16. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1359866X.2010.540894