When I began looking through the list of possible topics and concepts, the one that really caught my eye was Place-based curriculum. I wasn’t sure exactly what it was, but just seeing the name of made me interested and curious to see what it was all about. When I began looking into it, I knew that this was a topic that I would really enjoy exploring because it reminded me of another class that I am taking this semester, which is Outdoor Ed. In that class, we are able to explore all the benefits, skills, knowledge and opportunities students can gain from just experiencing things outdoors. Outdoor Ed I feel directly relates to the concept and theory of place-based curriculum, and I am excited to keep exploring what it could actually look like within schools.
Place-based education as I understand it from a quick search is allowing students to explore and collaborate with their community. This allows them to ask questions and find answers to things that they are familiar with, whether it be a topic within their community or a major event that is happening around the world, and because of that, it will mean so much more to the students. This way of looking into curriculum was something that for the most part, I was completely unfamiliar with. The more I look into it though, the more I realize just how many people are believers in this model, and have committed their time to help other people see the benefits of it.
Going forward, the main things I need to do are to research more about the curriculum scholars in this area and find what each of them is saying about place-based curriculum. Next, I need to find the big ideas and determine the pros and cons of this approach, while also finding the answers to the questions laid out for us in the outline, which include:
- What does this concept/topic mean?
- How does this curriculum scholar define this topic?
- Where do these texts converge/diverge?
- Considering what we have read/discussed in class, what is this text missing? What do the others offer?
Through this critical summary, I hope to get a better understanding of place-based education, and whether or not it could become a practical and great new way to view curriculum.