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The Power of Community-Centered Education

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By Michael L. Umphrey, the author of The Power of Community-Centered Education: Teaching as a Craft of Place (Rowman & Littlefield)

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The Power of Community-Centered Education

  1. 3. Does Community-Centered Education Matter?
  2. 4. Department of Education knows it matters
  3. 5. What is community-centered education? <ul><li>More expansive than traditional environmental education (and with less baggage) </li></ul><ul><li>Teaches about both the natural and the built environment </li></ul><ul><li>How landscape, community infrastructure, watersheds, and cultural traditions interact and shape each other </li></ul>
  4. 6. The Great Waste <ul><li>From the standpoint of the child, the great waste in the school comes from his inability to utilize the experiences he gets outside the school in any complete and free way within the school itself; while, on the other hand, he is unable to apply in daily life what he is learning at school. That is the isolation of the school—its isolation from life. </li></ul><ul><li>John Dewey (1891) </li></ul>
  5. 7. Crisis in the Narrative Environment
  6. 8. Epidemic of Disengagement Lack of “narrative fit” between the stories of schooling and students’ personal lives
  7. 9. Slip out of Abstraction <ul><li>Community-Centered education: </li></ul><ul><li>“ the process of using the local community and environment as the starting point to teach concepts. . .” </li></ul><ul><li>David Sobel ( Place-Based Education: Connecting Classrooms & Communities ) </li></ul>
  8. 10. Benefits of Community-Centered Teaching <ul><li>Increases academic achievement </li></ul><ul><li>Helps students develop stronger relationships to their community </li></ul><ul><li>Enhances students’ appreciation for the natural world </li></ul><ul><li>Creates heightened sense of civic engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Increases citizen and parent involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Helps community development </li></ul>
  9. 11. Engaged in the real work
  10. 12. Meaning Motivates
  11. 13. Deepening by contextualizing <ul><li>[When] the student is in the community, researching aspects of a local watershed, conducting community health surveys, developing exhibits for the local museum, the quality of the work deepens greatly , is more carefully attended to, assumes genuine meaning. </li></ul><ul><li>Vito Perrone: Annenberg Rural Challenge Research and Evaluation Program, 1999 </li></ul>
  12. 14. The Habit of Science
  13. 15. Education as culture How are the understandings we seek manifest locally and regionally?
  14. 16. Learning as story
  15. 17. The adventure of research reading, taking notes, observing, experimenting, presenting
  16. 18. Community-Centered Teaching: truth in a local dialect
  17. 19. Communities of purpose
  18. 20. Linking community and scholarship
  19. 21. Accountability in the Community
  20. 22. Exhibitions of mastery and more. . .
  21. 23. The three-legged stool <ul><li>Academic achievement </li></ul><ul><li>Social Capital </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental quality </li></ul>
  22. 24. Placemaking
  23. 25. Michael L Umphrey [email_address] 406 370-4369 http://www.montanaheritageproject.org

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