The impact of place-based pedagogy on teachers' professional identities, instructional decisions, and collaborations
This design study uses a design-based, formative approach to consider teachers' understanding and use of place-based pedagogical practices. The study focuses on teachers' awareness, understanding and use of place as they implemented classroom instruction and built a professional development experience for colleagues. The research spans three months as the team of six teachers (colleagues at a local district) planned, implemented, and reflected on place-based pedagogical shifts. At the heart of the research is the question of how a place-based instructional perspective impacts teaching and professional growth. Ultimately, findings suggest that this group, both collectively and individually, has come to value place as it affects meaningful understanding. Not satisfied with strictly textbook-driven instruction, this team has developed ways to expand school walls, create meaningful experiences for educational colleagues and secure community partnerships valuable to all aspects of this professional growth. These teachers believe that understandings of the importance of place will transcend course titles and school boundaries in order to actively engage learners.
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