Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Kelly Margot

Academic Year



Public school education has become increasingly homogenized as teachers work to meet national and state standardized curriculum goals. What is at risk is students losing touch with the places where their learning occurs. By inviting our schoolyard habitats, neighborhoods, and communities back into the curriculum educators can reconnect their classrooms to place allowing the environment, both ecological and cultural, to serve as the foundation for meaningful learning. Through the development of a guidebook, that administrators and educators can use, this project serves as a tool to implement place-based education. The guidebook has been designed as a scaffold of seven core concepts to work grade level content connections into elementary school standards that align learning through place. These core concepts are: encouraging student sense of place, reviving nature study and phenology, mapmaking, water fluency, using learning that occurs across curriculum with content standards as the guide, allowing for an emphasis on inquiry led investigations, and acknowledging that teachers are the “key” to success in place-based learning. The guidebook inspires students to address issues that often have a global scale on a local level, emboldening civic action that is accessible and meaningful, while encouraging students to steward the places where they learn.