7 Tools to Kickstart Place-Based Learning (And More to Keep It Going)

A collection of tools and opportunities to help educators start or expand their own models for place-based learning.

This post is part of Remake Learning’s series on Place-Based Education. For more, check out You Are Here: The Power of Place in Learning.

Remake Learning is grounding the start of 2020 in placeplace-based education (PBE), that is. When learning is framed within the context of local geography or community, it comes alive for students. Whether getting their hands dirty during a life-sciences lesson in the park, hearing from a local councilperson in class, or launching their own student-run business, place-based learning is more personal, authentic, engaging, and relevant for students of all ages, disciplines, and backgrounds.

We recently covered place-based basics and highlighted some network members already employing PBE learning strategies. Now, we’ve collected our favorite tools and opportunities to help educators start or expand their own models for place-based learning.

Something missing from this rundown? Email info@remakelearning.org to let us know!


In 2016, Getting Smart launched a multi-year thought leadership campaign designed to raise awareness and elevate the status of PBE in the national education conversation. Since the campaign’s start, they have compiled a comprehensive library of articles, podcasts, and visual aids covering all angles of PBE. Here are a few highlights:

Access Getting Smart’s full catalog of PBE resources at gettingsmart.com/powerofplace.


Guiding Principles for Exemplary Place-Based Stewardship Education: Rubric

A guide and rubric for building and assessing PBE learning programs from the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative.

Learning to Make Choices for the Future: Connecting Public Lands, Schools, and Communities through Place-based Learning and Civic Engagement

Manual focusing on the parallels between PBE and civic engagement, including tips for building community partnerships and launching a community-based PBE program.


Benefits of Place-Based Education

An evaluative summary of data from six place-based education programs representing more than 100 schools (rural, suburban, and urban) covering twelve states, produced by the Place-based Education Evaluation Collaborative.

Place-Based Education: A Program Evaluation

Researcher Hannah S. Moody designed and conducted a program evaluation of the PBE component at Summit Charter School.

The Environmental Commons in Urban Communities: The Potential of Place-Based Education

A report analyzing the reflections of over 200 4–12th graders (most from racial/ethnic minority backgrounds), who offered insight on what they learned while participating in place-based stewardship education projects in their urban communities.


Practical Training in Project-Based Learning
Educators can easily apply a PBE approach to project-based learning. Learn more about the fundamentals of project-based learning and design a project plan at the Consortium for Public Education’s upcoming two-day professional development session.

Ignite Grants 2020

Looking to explore or start your own PBE project? An Ignite Grant from Remake Learning may be able to help! Apply by March 13, 2020.


For even more on PBE curriculum, research, and evaluation, browse resources from the Promise of Place and the Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition.