George Lucas Educational Foundation

Place-Based Learning

Location, location, location! See what happens when schoolwork explores students' connections with local history, environment, culture, or economy.

  • Bringing Core Content to Life With Outdoor Education

    When students step out of the classroom and explore the concepts they’ve learned about, they deepen their understanding of science, themselves, and the world.
  • Moving From the Comfort Zone to the Challenge Zone

    When we are faced with challenges, our brains are activated to learn new things—so long as a foundation of safety, belonging, and trust is there as well.
  • With Safety in Mind, Schools Take Classes Outdoors

    There are plenty of logistics to consider, but educators say outdoor classes keep kids and teachers safer—and provide much-needed fresh air.
    Laura Lee
  • Student completing a science drawing assignment outside

    Simple Ways to Bring Learning Outside

    Going outside helps students focus, and activities for classes from social studies to math can incorporate the natural world.
  • A class off the school bus next to the river taking notes

    5 Benefits of Outdoor Education

    An outdoor education program builds community and culture, raises expectations and standards, increases connection between students, and develops positive associations around school and the outdoors.
  • Two high school students doing field work next to a river

    A Place-Based Approach to PBL

    A veteran teacher and author discusses how to bring fieldwork into your project-based learning curriculum.
  • A group of teachers are having a meeting.

    Connecting Student Learning Across Subjects

    When teachers collaborate on projects across subjects, they can drive engagement in all of their classes.
  • A young boy is looking at a fluorescent coral reef museum exhibit.

    When Your School Is a Museum

    In Grand Rapids, Michigan, an award-winning school has been the catalyst for a district turnaround after a 20-year decline.
  • A group of students are helping each other to work on their group project.

    Place-Based Learning: A Multifaceted Approach

    Connecting learning to students’ surroundings—the buildings, the landscape—covers content goals and builds community pride.
  • Several high school students and a female teacher are seated, looking at a presentation board.

    Turning the Community Into a Classroom

    See how students investigate real issues in their communities—and check out an e-book on how to adopt this type of program.
  • Group of teacehrs and students are on a field trip. They're walking in a green field.

    Learning Kids Can Put Their Hands On

    Taking kids outside—whatever environment your school is in—provides a new path to engagement in learning.
  • Expansive Classrooms: Taking Learning Outside

    Two Canadian experiential leadership programs usher students into the great outdoors to pique their academic curiosity while enhancing their physical and mental health.
  • A platypus robot is displayed inside an exhibit.

    Photos: A Look Inside the Grand Rapids Museum School

    A struggling district expands the concept of the school campus—using a museum, a zoo, and the city to teach its students.
  • Hood River County School District van with the mountains and trees in the background

    A Student's Perspective on Place-Based Learning

    "All I needed during middle school was to feel a part of something, and connecting to my community brought me that." -- Grace Whitmore, Hood River Middle School alumna
  • Early-Childhood Education Takes to the Outdoors

    Kids in Waldkindergarten, also known as forest kindergarten, are building fires and braving the snow. And they're all the better for it.

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George Lucas Educational Foundation