Place-Based Learning connects students to their immediate surroundings and heritage. This method, sometimes called “pedagogy of place” allows individuals to teach and learn through observation and doing, using personally relevant resources as the context for their academic growth. Place-Based Learning brings forth several questions. How does Place-Based Learning compare to other models of teaching? Is it the best method to reach today’s youth? How do we evaluate its effectiveness? Can informal learning centers be leaders in the creation and promotion of effective Place-Based Learning programs?
In an effort to explore best practices by leading educational and cultural institutions nationwide, the New Bedford ECHO Project invites proposals for presentations and papers on Place-Based Learning to be delivered at a symposium held in New Bedford, MA on December 1-3, 2010. The symposium will focus on four main themes: Leveraging regional success stories on a national scale; Successful Place-Based Learning programs and partnerships; How standardization of the current educational system creates disparities in the educational attainment of native/underserved/minority students; Value and shortcomings of Place-Based Learning including assessment and evaluation
The New Bedford ECHO Project (NBEP), a combined effort from the New Bedford Whaling Museum and the New Bedford Ocean Explorium, works locally with the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, and our ECHO partners in Alaska, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Mississippi to address the educational needs of our respective populations. Through its focus on history, culture, arts and environment the NBEP, allows students and educators alike to engage in a variety of content and context based teaching and learning opportunities. Examples include the Whaling Museum’s popular history, language arts and culture based school programs, the Ocean Explorium’s Enviro-Lab, which allows school and youth groups a chance to go out into Buzzard’s Bay for hands-on research and the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park’s “From Hampton to New Bedford: A Network of Freedom” program which is a set of curriculum-based activities and materials that brings the story of the Underground Railroad to life.
Submissions should broadly fit into one or more of the above themes. Presentations should be submitted as an article for review and publication in symposium proceedings. All submissions should follow the style outlined in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2001, 5th edition). Submit proposals to: Sara Meirowitz c/o New Bedford ECHO Project at 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, MA 02740. Web: www.whalingmuseum.org. Proposals should be submitted in abstract form (less than 100 words) and are due by July 31, 2010. Honoraria and travel stipends may be available.