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place-based education

Teachers Teaching Teachers #236 How place can set the table for inquiry, with ideas from Alaska, Louisiana, and Philly 02.16.11


57:56 minutes (13.26 MB)

Talking about their own versions of place-based education, our guests on this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers are:

  • Diana Laufenberg, Zac Chase, and a student, Luna from the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia
  • Woody Woodgate from Alaska
  • David Pulling from Louisiana State University at Eunice

We asked Diana and Zac to come talk about an interdisciplinary project they did/are doing with juniors. Each student was invited to find a building in his/her neighborhood with a name on it, then to learn the history of that person and the building. From there, students created multimedia presentations. Diana and Zac brought this example to their conversation at last month’s Educon 2.3, and we wanted to learn more! Wait until you see this work!

David writes:

Many in my semester’s class have joined Voices on the Gulf since a couple of weeks ago, and Wednesday I’m going to give them a prompt for their first post. I’m going to start them off the same way I did the class last fall, asking them to study their back yards or neighborhoods or pastures or homes to identify some place or thing that they may take for granted and to consider the cost of losing it, etc. etc. etc. I’ll encourage them to post pix or videos as well. I’ll guide them into inquiry from there.  I hope you’ll hear from some neat students and read some neat stuff.  I’ve got an eager and industrious bunch this semester.

Also check out David’s post: Setting the table for Inquiry: Where I find myself (almost) a year after Deep Water Horizon.

If that’s not enough, our old friend from Alaska, Woody will be joining us as well. Woody has focused a lot of his scholarship and pedagogy around place-based education in rural Alaska. We have already learned a lot from him, and we look forward to re-connecting with him on Wednesday. Woody writes:

I am negotiating to go back out to rural Alaska to teach at a site that is heavily focused on what they call “relevant education” and what we have been calling place-based education.  I will be focusing on how to incorporate standards into the already established outdoor program.   Therefore, I gladly accept your invitation in hopes that I can get back up to speed with what others have been doing in this area in the last 3 years since I have been out of the classroom trenches.

Pretty exciting stuff! We hope you enjoy learning with us.


Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.

Teachers Teaching Teachers #168 - Mapping Main Street in Flushing, Salt Lake City, and Brevig Mission - 9.16.09


64:51 minutes (14.84 MB)

Teachers whose students post at Youth Voices are pretty excited about the “Mapping Main Street” collaborative project.

“Mapping Main Street is a collaborative documentary media project that creates a new map of the country through stories, photos and videos recorded on actual Main Streets. We invite you to capture the stories and images of the country today. Use our Main Street map to find streets named Main close to your home or along the paths of your own travels. Go out, look around, talk to people, and contribute to this re-mapping of the United States.” 

Mapping Main Street » About

Listen to this podcast, recorded on September 16, to learn more about how we are working “Mapping Main Street" into our curriculum. You will also to learn more about a wonderful youth development program, Radio Rookies and their Short Wave workshop, where producers train students the basics of reporting, interviewing, and script writing, and in 1.5 months they produce a final story for the Radio Rookies web site.” One of our guests for this podcast was Sanda Htyte.

Sanda Htyte is Radio Rookies Associate Producer. She has been with Radio Rookies since interning at the Elmhurst workshop in summer of 2005. She is also a freelance video producer, director, editor and a CUNY Professor. While interning at Radio Rookies, Sanda was completing her MFA in documentary producing. Having studied both video and radio production at her Alma Mata, Brooklyn College, CUNY, she was asked to teach introduction to radio production as Adjunct Professor in Fall of 2006 as well as Spring 2007.


A couple of years ago Woody Woodgate, up in Alaska, helped shape our curriculum toward place-based projects. His work with the students at the Marshall School was an inspiration. He helped amplify the voices of the young people in his classes so that all of us on the Youth Voices network could hear and respond!

Another guest on this podcast was a colleague of Woody’s from Alaska, Diane (Ginger) Crockett. Chris Sloan joined us as well from Salt Lake City Utah. (Check out his students’ work on the Mapping Main Street site.)

We would love to make similar connections with your students this year. Specifically, in the next couple of months, we are looking at braiding some or our “place-based” photography, stories, VoiceThreads, videos, podcasts… with the NPR-connected project, “Mapping Main Street.” It just seems to us like this could be an excellent opportunity for students to show off their home towns, their cultures, their stories — and to see what is similar and different from other youths’ Main Streets.

Interested? Please plan to join us at Youth Voices.

Click Read more to see a transcript of a chat that was happening during the webcast.

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