The Power of Place

by Tom Vander Ark (Author), Emily Liebtag (Author), Nate McClennen (Author)
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"Place: it's where we're from; it's where we're going. . . . It asks for our attention and care. If we pay attention, place has much to teach us."

With this belief as a foundation, The Power of Place offers a comprehensive and compelling case for making communities the locus of learning for students of all ages and backgrounds.

Dispelling the notion that place-based education is an approach limited to those who can afford it, the authors describe how schools in diverse contexts—urban and rural, public and private—have adopted place-based programs as a way to better engage students and attain three important goals of education: student agency, equity, and community.

This book identifies six defining principles of place-based education. Namely, it

1. Embeds learning everywhere and views the community as a classroom.
2. Is centered on individual learners.
3. Is inquiry based to help students develop an understanding of their place in the world.
4. Incorporates local and global thinking and investigations.
5. Requires design thinking to find solutions to authentic problems.
6. Is interdisciplinary.

For each principle, the authors share stories of students whose lives were transformed by their experiences in place-based programs, elaborate on what the principle means, demonstrate what it looks like in practice by presenting case studies from schools throughout the United States, and offer action steps for implementation.

Aimed at educators from preK through high school, The Power of Place is a definitive guide to developing programs that will lead to successful outcomes for students, more fulfilling careers for teachers, and lasting benefits for communities.

Publication date
March 09, 2020
Page count
Paper ISBN
File size
2 MB