Definition

The Rural School and Community Trust strongly supports place-based education for rural schools through its outreach and professional development activities for rural educators.  According to the Rural Trust, place-based education has the following features:

  • Learning that is rooted in the unique history, environment, economy, and culture of a particular place
  • The community is the context for learning
  • Student work focuses on important community issues
  • Community members are partners and resources in teaching and learning
  • Products of student learning address community needs 

Utilizing a local context does not mean disregarding national, state, or commonsense educational goals.  In fact, Doris Williams of the Rural School and Community Trust believes that place-based education pairs relevance with academic rigor by promoting deep thinking in content areas, sustaining academic work as researchers and scholars, and meeting or exceeding state or local accountability standards (source:  Williams, Doris, Engaged Institutions:  Partnering for Transformation in Rural Places, presented at Rural Education Working Group Conference, Tuskegee University, May 17, 2008).