SESSION

Place-based Learning Shining Bright:
Beyond the Tyranny of Time and Space

In the future, the time and space-based model of education represented by tens of thousands of schools and universities worldwide will give way to a more distributed place-based learning model. Despite the enormous benefits it offers, place-based learning remains a fringe movement today. This presentation will show how fledgling place-based education movements are already leading the way towards a system of education that is more equitable, humane, economically viable and socially essential. In fact, we predict that place-based education will become the dominant model of learning in as little as 15 to 20 years and will have fully replaced schools as we know them by the middle of the 21st century. At the heart of place-based learning is the idea of personalization beyond technology. It starts with giving students a meaningful role in their own education to decide what, when, where and with who to learn. Student autonomy is supported and tailored to fit their strengths, needs and interests. The ultimate goal of place-based education is to ensure students attain mastery as learners. Why “place” and how does it differ from “space?” Unlike the generic spaces in schools, places are authentic contexts in which students experience local knowledge, skills and issues and, according to noted scholar Gregory Smith, they are the perfect “antidote to apathy and alienation.” This presentation/workshop will explore where place-based education is headed in the near and longer-term future. It will look at experiential learning, civic learning, environmental education, social and emotional learning and analyze new learning models. It will explore the various venues in which place-based learning can thrive in both rural and urban settings including museums, parks, colleges and community centers. This session will address the big question – how might education facility professionals contribute to and proactively shape the growing field of place-based education?

Learning Objectives:
1. Understand the many opportunities that exist to catalyze the visceral and organic power of place-based learning within their own communities
2. Within the context of their own profession as facility planners or educators, attendees will explore the role they might play in forging partnerships between schools and local resources like parks, museums, and local businesses
3. Learn how place-based learning can increase student engagement, boost academic outcomes, impact communities and promote understanding of the world around us
4. Learn how to translate the academic goals of place-based learning into a coherent set of design principles that they can then apply in a variety of contexts 

Prakash Nair, President & CEO, Education Design International Inc.
Prakash is a futurist, a visionary architect and the Founding President & CEO of Education Design International with consultations in 52 countries on six continents. He is the recipient of many international awards including the A4LE MacConnell Award that he has won twice. He has keynoted numerous international conferences, has a TEDx talk, and is the world’s leading author on innovative school design including three best-selling books, two in collaboration with Harvard University.

Roni Zimmer Doctori, Principal Architect, Education Design International Inc.
Roni has over 17 years of professional architectural and project management experience. She is a co-author of the book Learning by Design in collaboration with Harvard University and a White Paper on Outdoor Learning for A4LE. She has lectured, conducted workshops, presented keynote conference talks and delivered a full day Masterclass on school design in different parts of the world including Australia and Canada.

Association for Learning Environments (A4LE)

LearningSCAPES 2021


October 14-17
Hyatt Regency | Denver, CO