Creating a sense of place and belonging in the classroom: An example of place-based education from the foothills of the Himalayas

Doug Hernandez

Session Information

Year: 2016 | Time: 4:15pm-5:45pm (Poster Session) | Location: (Fenwick 2nd Floor) Poster Session

Abstract

Educators engaging in the critical assessment of teaching and learning have often considered the importance of the physical environment (classroom). This poster presentation offers that “place” is more than a context for discovering curriculum. When we have access to the history and experiences of our places, we have the possibility of creating holistic learning environments rich with democracy and inclusivity. As our learning spaces have become increasingly homogenized and standardized, greater importance on reacquainting learners with their own environments and constructing new meaningful places is paramount. This poster presentation highlights teaching practices from village schools (Balwadis) in the foothills of the Himalayas. These practices were documented in a case study that the presenter coauthored and will offer that place, and learning, are inextricably intertwined. Using narratives, photos, and artifacts from the Balwadi teachers, participants will experience the multiple dimensions of place and environment and how these can be transformative agents for creating learning communities with a sense of place and belonging.  Participants will learn how to apply these strategies to their own classes to create a sense of place and belonging for their students.

Keywords

Place based Education; Physical Environments; Experiential Learning; Service Learning

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