the school experience. We see its benefits time and again in higher levels of
student engagement, civic participation,
and environmental stewardship. We
also see teachers revitalized as they
engage in work that matters.
We are not suggesting that this is the
only kind of learning that students
should experience in school. But an
education that consists only of the
abstract and faraway won’t sustain the
interest of the young. All young people
need to feel that what they are doing
makes a difference and contributes to
the welfare of others. And all of them
need to believe that they can make
change. Place- and community-based
education provides the perfect context
for this work. ;L
Bellah, R., Madsen, R., Sullivan, W., &
Swidler, A. (1985). Habits of the heart:
Individualism and commitment in American
life. Berkeley: University of California
Find out how other schools have
connected learning to life in the
online-only article “Candlelit
Learning” by Lynell Burmark,
available at www.ascd.org/pub
Albany: State University of New York
Kilpatrick, W. (1918). The project method:
Child-centeredness in progressive education. Teachers College Record, 19( 4),
Louv, R. (2005). Last child in the woods.
Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin.
Putnam, R. (2000). Bowling alone: The collapse and revival of American community.
New York: Simon and Schuster.
Rugg, H. (1939). Democracy and the curriculum: The life and program of the
American school. New York: D. Appleton-Century.
Gregory Smith is a professor in the
Graduate School of Education and
Counseling at Lewis and Clark College
in Portland, Oregon; gasmith@lclark
.edu. David Sobel is director of teacher
certification programs in the Education
Department of Antioch University New
England in Keene, New Hampshire.
They are the authors of Place- and
Community-Based Education in Schools
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