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Place-Based Learning

“Indigenous knowledge systems view people and place as overlapping and interacting, thus, people carry the energy of places as part of their being.”

– Kame’eleihiwa, 1992; Kana’iaupuni & Malone, 2006

PLACES Hawaiʻi supports teachers in the planning and implementation of Place-based Cultural Projects (PBCP) for the children in schools across the Waiʻanae Coast. These projects ground learning in place and allow children to engage with the community and develop social activism and environmental stewardship habits while simultaneously developing the skills and strategies outlined in The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The PBCP curricular framework embraces the multiple cultural locations in which children live and grow and utilizes community and place as the springboard for learning. Based on several educational research bodies, PBCPs engage real-life ways of knowing and doing and provide integrated teaching and learning opportunities.

  • Learning through projects - Children and teachers pursue essential questions and topics together.
  • Place-based - Projects focus on a topic, an issue, or a commitment grounded in the local community of Wai'anae or the broader community of Hawai'i. Projects might take an environmental focus, explore the history of place, or highlight contemporary people or leaders within the community.
  • Active, hands-on learning experiences - Projects privilege doing as a means for learning. Children might be involved in planting and harvesting kalo or other crops, making paʻakai, or beating kapa, for example. Knowledge can be demonstrated through ventures such as hip hop and hula, slam poetry, or building aquaponics systems.
  • The arts - Learning through and about the arts are essential to PBCP learning. Children are exposed to a variety of ancient Hawaiian arts and contemporary visual, musical, and performing arts.
  • Caring adult mentors - Children develop strong bonds with adults who are their teachers and community mentors. Students build caring relationships with teachers, staff, and community members.
  • Multiple literacies - Children encounter many opportunities to acquire various literacies through projects. Whether it is researching
    mo'olelo, writing and filming Public Service Announcements, or creating procedural manuals for constructing worm bins, literacy is acquired and practiced in authentic contexts.

"We’ve all experienced the power of place: those moments when we’re immersed deeply in experiencing the world around us and what’s happening there is real and meaningful. Learning in these moments is organic and visceral. There’s much to learn from the places we inhabit — from traveling across the globe to getting out into our own communities. Yet, formal learning experiences that leverage the power of place remain the exception and not the rule.”

An excerpt from What is Place-Based Education and Why Does it Matter.

Contact Us

Dr. Kay Fukuda
Project Director

Place-based Learning And Community Engagement in School

Place-based Afterschool Literacy Support

University of Hawai'i at Mānoa

Student Equity, Excellence & Diversity (SEED)

2600 Campus Rd., QLSSC 413

Honolulu, HI 96822

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© PLACES Hawaii 2020 | All Rights Reserved | | Site Designed By Created By Kaui

© PLACES Hawaii 2020 | All Rights Reserved |

Site Designed By Created By Kaui