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Place Based Education

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Carla Scullion

on 28 April 2014

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Transcript of Place Based Education

Place Based Education
"If you don't know where you are, you don't know who you are." Wendell Berry
History and Geography
Rationale for
Place-Based Education

This approach to education has strong links with the Northern Ireland Revised Curriculum.
To develop the young person as an individual:
explore their sense of identity as they develop a connection to their local area.
To develop the young person as a contributor to society:
gain a deeper understanding of their culture and community;
develop a sense of citizenship;
encourages the pupil to become involved in their community.
To develop the young person as a contributor to the economy & environment:
understand the importance economy has on local area and the people who live here;
aware of how economy and environment have a direct impact upon their life;
explore how to sustain their community.
Learning experiences:
active and hands on;
ongoing reflection;
enquiry based;
challenging and engaging;
skills intergrated;
relevant and enjoyable.
Attitudes and Dispositions:
personal responsibility;
community spirit;
concern for others.
Place-Based Education offers a wide range of benefits to all participants.
World Around Us Curriculum:
Strand 1: Interdependence
Children are learning:
about the jobs people do within the local community;
that there is a wide variety of plants and animals in their locality;
to recognise the effect that people, places and things in the past have had on their locality;
to be aware of some of the ways people use the environment everyday;
to recognise the changes that people have made to the environment over time;
to understand some of the ways in which living things rely on common landscape features;
to be aware of the changes in their local environment over time;
some of the ways people affect the built and natural environment.
Strand 2: Movement and Energy
Children are learning:
some of the reasons why people and animals move from place to place;
how people in the past travelled from place to place;
how people, travel and products are transported from place to place in the locality;
about the impact of explorers and conquerors through time.

Strand 3: Place
Children are learning:
to be aware of where their home is;
to have an awareness of features of the local landscape;
about the variety of buildings in their locality, including their purpose;
about some of the special events which are important in their lives and the life of the locality;
some of the jobs of familiar people in school and in the locality;
to be aware of the changing weather in their locality;
changes to their locality over time;
some of the ways in which people in the past relied on their environment;
the similarities and differences between buildings features and landscape in their locality and the wider world;
how the actions of people in the past and the present impact on their locality;
that human activity affects the environment, both locally and globally;
that people can improve the places where they live;
about some of the plants and animals in a chosen habitat locally;
how places locally and globally, influence identity, way of life and culture.

Strand 4: Change Over Time
Children are learning:
about change all around them (buildings, clothing, food, school environment);
some of the ways we can change our immediate environment, both positively and negatively;
about changes in their local area over time;
that some people try to preserve our heritage;
about the impact of human activity on our environment;
about problems with litter in the environment;
about the impact of significant changes which have taken place in their locality;
about the importance of conserving the environment including protection of habitats and wildlife.

Place-Based Education
also has
links with other areas of the curriculum. The knowledge which children learn through this endeavour will be
to other subjects and areas of their life.

For example; in exploring the importance of people in their local area pupils begin to develop a respect for their community and become actively involved. This would fulfil the statutory criteria for PDMU: "playing an active and meaningful part in the life of the community and being concerned about the
wider environment."

Pupils apply what they are learning in a classroom to the wider world.
Make links between theory and a real life setting:
"One cannot learn a skill simply by reading a book; the information in the book must be applied."
(Wurdinger and Carlson 2010, p.104)
Brings the curriculum alive by bring to life what they are learning. Pupils have a deeper connection to the learning and perhaps a better understanding.

Any time spent in the natural
environment pursuing physical activity
is to be endorsed. (Louv 2005)
Beames, Higgins and Nicol (2012) state that a disconnection to the outdoors can be detrimental not only to learning but also to a child's "growth and development." (p. 52)
Time spent in the outdoors can benefit ability to learn in the classroom:

"exposure to the living world can enhance intelligence...[it] seems to stimulate
children's and adult's ability to pay
attention, think clearly, and
be more creative."

(Louv 2012)
Pupils take an active role in their
own education- engaging them in their learning.
The Council for Learning Outdoors explains that place-based education helps to
provide a bridge to higher order learning."
(2006, p. 5)
Pupils begin to view the
as a learning environment, not just the classroom.
Pupils begin to recognise that every landscape and environment can teach us something, and begin to look for this learning. This is supported by Orr (2004) who highlights the importance of learning from our world.
Integrates formal and informal

Beames, Higgins and Nicol explain that place-based education is instrumental in
"helping our fragile planet and weakened communities be restored and cared for by engaged and energetic young people."
(2012, p.xi)
Learn about the history of their area and how it has developed into the place it is today.
Develop connections to people of the place and the role everyone plays.
Respect their local area and engage more responsibly with it.
"There is some evidence that place-based education promotes environmental stewardship."
(Kastens and Manduca
2012, p. 186)

Geddes felt that for education to be meaningful it must engage the heart, the hand and the head.
Place-Based Education adapts this approach; it seeks to connect pupils to their community (heart), they become actively involved (hand) and learn whilst doing so (head).
After The Trail...
Pupils will return to the classroom and each group will share their findings and answers.
Pupils will reflect on the trail and will record what they have learnt about their local area through the trail.
Pupils will use circle time to share their favourite part of the trail or what they found most interesting.
Moving Forward
Pupils will use this trail to inform future learning.
They will continue to be involved in place-based learning and will scaffold upon what they have learnt.
Pupils will be asked to devise a similar trail suitable for younger pupils in the school incorporating the key features of our local area.
Risk Assessment and
Management Considerations

"The primary responsibility of all involved in authorising, leading and accompanying educational visits must at all times be the health, safety and welfare of the party."
(Bowes 2006, p. 58)

This process is crucial to planning any educational activity outside of the classroom.
It should be consistent throughout the planning of the trail.

A lot of consideration was given to risk assessment for this trail.
The Department of Education Northern Ireland (DENI) explores risk assessment in 'Educational Visits' published in 2009.
"Fundamental to the planning process of
any educational visit is the process of
risk assessment."
(DENI 2009)

DENI explains that pupils must not be put under undue stress or susceptible to any harmful risk.
"Care must be taken not to expose the
child to unacceptable physical or
psychological risk."
(DENI 2009)

DENI (2009) highlighted that not only does this process help identify risk but it is also beneficial as actions can be taken to reduce or eliminate the risk.
DENI identify the following as the main features of risk assessment:
identifying the hazards;
identifying the people who may be at risk;
evaluating the potential risk;
establishing additional safety and/or control measures;
disseminating information to all relevant persons and maintaining appropriate records.

This criteria was used to ensure risk assessment was comprehensive for this trail.
Risk Assessment & the
Aghacommon Trail
Pupils will be walking near main roads- pupils will be reminded of road safety and told to stay on the footpaths.
Pupils will have one adult allocated to each group. The group must stay together and in the presence of their guardian at all times. The adult will meet school criteria for working with the pupils.
Pupils will not encounter any out of bounds areas on this trail but will be asked to stay on the allocated path and not wander off the trail.
Parents/guardians will be informed of the trail and will be asked to give permission for their child to take part.
The relevant school parties will be presented with the trail and will approve it before pupils
Number 12
Walk to the chapel and enter the graveyard.
On the right there is a sign with lots of information about this chapel.

When was the chapel built?
An important family from Lurgan donated
the land, what is the name of this family?
How did local people help with the building
of the chapel?
Why do you think they did this?

Number 4
Walk along Kilvergan Road to the entrance of Tannaghmore Gardens.
Enter the gardens and you will see 2 statues carved from wood.
What do these show?

Bonus Question:
What importance do these statues have to our country?
(1 point for each statue)

The 3 businesses are; a hairdressers,
a chip shop and a local grocery shop. These 3 businesses all serve the needs of local people.

Bonus answer-

The grocery shop and chip shop are owned by brothers.

Number 2
Turn right at this grey building and walk along this road to the end.
There are 3 important businesses on the right hand side.

What are these and why are they important for the community?

Bonus Question:
Can you find a link between 2 of the businesses?

Baker (2005)

identified 3 main criteria for creating a ‘landfull’ and meaningful experience when engaging with place. These criteria will be used to guide academic preparation.

1. Explore the
place today
- Pupils will share their current understanding of the town land.
-Work with a group to complete 3D models of a map of the town.
-Walk the town land identifying key geographical features such as rivers, infrastructure and buildings.

2. Investigate and interpret
land history
-Examine maps of the town land in the past.
-Compare current maps to past maps; what has stayed the same? what has changed?
-Research how the land has changed throughout time.

3. Explore the
going on
-Ask pupils to record changes in the area in recent times. (e.g. speed cushions added on main road, restaurant renovated etc.)
-Complete a timeline for important events in the village during pupils’ life. (50th anniversary of school, Parish priest of 20 years retired etc.)

There will be a lot of preparation within the classroom before pupils participate in this trail. These experiences would include;

A variety of
local people
will visit the class and explain their
role in the community
e.g. Marguerite Kane who runs the children’s liturgy in the parish, Terry Mulholland whose family have had a shop in the village for 3 generations and the chairperson of the local GAA club.
senior members of the community
to share what the area was like when they were growing up.
Pupils will complete
records of the townland
now and throughout the ages. Pupils will have to
research the local area
using relevant
books, newspaper articles and oral tradition
(from family members.)
Complete a
‘phonebook’ of key people
in the community and identify how they contribute to the local life.
Pupils will have the opportunity to use the school's computer suite to
research what they are learning
about and
keep a 'journal' of what they know
about their area.
Class will
visit Lurgan Library.
This library has a display all about Lurgan and its surrounding areas. There are many specialist books as well as archives of old newspapers from the area.

Academic Preparation

What is the oldest date you and your team can find on a headstone in the graveyard? Take a photo of the headstone.

Do not
walk over the graves or touch anything on them!

The trail is over. Make your way back to where we started, the front playground of the school.

The group with the oldest date will win the point. The dates range from the opening of the church to modern day.

Number 15
As you are leaving the chapel through the side door there is a connection to our school uniform.
Can you find what it is?

The Seagoe Bell is displayed on the window above
the door. This bell gives its name to the Parish and is also the school logo. It is embroidered on
cardigans and printed on the front of
pupils’ jumpers.

Number 13
Beside this sign there are 5 graves raised up. These graves are all within one border. What job did the people who are buried here do?

They were all Parish Priests of this chapel.

Number 5
As you walk back to the entrance to Tannaghmore Gardens you will notice a bridge over an empty hole. There is a sign saying ‘flax hole.’ Flax is the plant which is used to create linen.
Why do you think there is a place to remember this plant here?

Linen was very important to the neighbouring towns’ industry. It was grown here and used in factories to create linen products.

Number 1

Stand in the front playground of the school facing the road.
There is a grey building in front of you.

What did this building used to be?

There is a plaque to help you

Bonus Question:
Can you notice anything about the spelling on this sign?

The Trail...

St. Brigid’s Window

Number 14
Enter the chapel.
REMEMBER- This is a holy place.
Please be respectful!

This chapel is named after St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland.
Can you find a special
window dedicated to another
famous Irish saint?

Take a photo.

The chapel was built in 1834.
The Brownlow family donated the land.
Local people donated different materials for the inside
of the chapel, as well as money.
They did this as they wanted to have a place to worship.

Number 11
To the left of the club there is a river.
What is this river called?
What significance does it have for Aghacommon?

This is the Closet River. It marks the boundaries of the townland.
Aghacommon is on one side of the river, Derrymacash is on the other.

Number 10
The playing fields of this club have been given a special name which is shown on the gates. What is it called? Can you guess why it has been named this?

The playing fields are known as Páirc na Ropairí. It is named after the Parish Priest at the time the club was built. He was a big supporter of GAA and was a driving force in the opening of the club.

Number 7
As you walk back down towards the hurling ball you will see this house. This was the first post office to open in Aghacommon. It opened in 1903!
Where is the post office today?

The post office is located at the back of Mulholland’s grocery shop.

Number 3
Where 3 roads meet beside the shop there is a sculpture. What is this sculpture of and how does this relate to our townland?

The sculpture is of a hurling ball. Aghacommon is Irish for ‘Field of the Hurling Sticks.’ The ball is significant as it is a reference to the Irish name for the townland and a popular pastime in this area.

This is the old school building before the school was built on its current site. Some pupils’ grandparents would have attended this school.

Bonus answer-

Aghacommon is now spelt without the ‘u.’ This is due to standardisation.

This trail of Aghacommon has been devised for
Key Stage 2
pupils, specifically Primary 7 pupils.
Pupils will complete the trail in
groups of 4 or 5
. Each group will have an
accompanying adult.
This particular trail will take approximately
one hour.
Pupils will record their answers to the trail in a variety of ways; taking photos, making notes, drawing sketches and participating in discussion.

Pupils will need:
1 copy of the trail for each group
School digital cameras
Appropriate clothing e.g. coat and Wellington boots.

Information about the trail

Where is the trail?

The trail will take place within the townland of Aghacommon, which is outside Lurgan town. This trail will focus on the surrounding areas of St. Patrick’s Primary School, Aghacommon. The school is attended by local children and this trail is designed to connect the pupils to their local area.

Pupils will have the opportunity to explore the history of Aghacommon, geographical features of this area and the community who live here.

Number 9
Continue down this road. You will come to the local GAA club.
What is the name of this club?
It is named after a famous Irish man. Can you find a picture of him anywhere? Take a photo.
: Look for the club’s crest.

The club is called Wolfe Tone G.A.C.
There is a sign with the crest on it, Wolfe Tone
is in the middle.

Number 8
Walk down the Derrymacash Road towards the bridge. As you walk along this road there are housing estates. What link do the names of these estates have? What does this tell us about what this place before the houses were built?

The names all have a link with nature and trees. Long ago this area of the town land was dominated by trees.

Number 6
Exit the gardens again.
Look at the area all around you. What type
of work does this land lend itself to?
Draw a picture of this area.

There are fields all around. This land is very good farming land. Many farmers have used this land in the past and still do today.

The Potato Famine- Pupils will have explored The Irish Famine already this year and should be able to recap some of the effects which this had on Ireland.

A Viking- Vikings raided Ireland beginning in the eighth century. They invaded the country and some settled here.

*Bonus Question*
Baker, M. (2005) in Henderson, B. & Vikander, N. (2007) (Ed.) N
ature First: Outdoor Life the Friluftsliv Way.
Ontario: National Heritage Books.
Beames, S., Higgins, P., & Nicol, R. (2012)
Learning Outside the Classroom: Theory and Guidelines for Practice.
New York: Routledge
Bowes, C. (2006)
Risk Assessing and Planning for Safe and Successful Educational Trips and Visits.
Corby: First & Best in Education
CCEA (2007) T
he Northern Ireland Curriculum, Primary.
Belfast: CCEA
Council for Learning Outside the Classroom:
Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto.
Nottingham: DfES Publications
Kastens, K. & Manduca, C.A., Earth and Mind II:
A Synthesis of Research on Thinking and Learning in the Geosciences.
Colorado: The Geological Society of America
Louv, R. in Beames, S., Higgins, P., and Nicol, R. (2012)
Learning Outside the Classroom: Theory and Guidelines for Practice.
New York: Routledge
Orr, D.W. (2004)
Earth in Mind: On Education, Environment and the Human Prospect.
Washington DC: Island Press
Wurdinger, S. & Carlson, J. (2010)
Teaching for Experiential Learning: Five Approaches That Work.
Plymouth: Rowman & Littlefield


Department of Education Northern Ireland (2009) Educational Visits; Best Practice. Accessed on 21/4/14 <http://www.deni.gov.uk/educational_visits_2009.pdf>

Lanpher, F. The Call to Recover a Sense of Place. Accessed on 22/4/14 <http://www.secondjourney.org/resources/res1.3.htm>

Nottingham Trent University. The Foundations of place-based learning. Accessed on 21/4/14

"The content and activities are placed within a larger context that has meaning for learners."

(Kastens and Manduca 2012,
p. 186)
Connection to
Real Life Application
of the Curriculum
Health Benefits
Patrick Geddes

Pupils are given the opportunity to explore
their local area and become conscious
of how they can actively contribute.
Pupils learn more than the curriculum as they are opened to new experiences and learning opportunities which will help them grow.
The Council for Learning Outdoors states that "young people learn how to manage
challenge and risk for themselves in everyday situations, so they become confident
and capable adults." (2006, p. 16)

Pupils interact and negociate with their classmates in a different situation to the classroom.
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