Place-Based Education

This is a new term for me - place-based education.  I was reading an article on edutopia about place-based education in rural schools in New Mexico, and although I am familiar with the idea, I did not know it had a name.

Some early childhood "curricula", like the project approach, place an emphasis on children interacting with the community and the world in a meaningful way.  So, rather than always going to the zoo every October, outings are planned to link to the curriculum and the children's interests and needs.  Place-based education is about the community and the educational goals are linked with the goals of the local community.  It is an interesting concept to think about in terms of both urban and rural schools like they mention on edutopia; but it really could be done anywhere.

I am enjoying reading about the initiatives in New Mexico - how a community can rally around education and both systems can benefit.  The Center for RelationaLearning is working with groups around the world using this concept - how many of them include young children?  How can young children interact meaningfully with their community?  What does a community need from its educational institutions?