Close to Home: Rooting Learning in Community

Students in rural Maine turn an abandoned wastewater treatment plant into a state-of-the-art aquaculture facility, conducting serious scientific research and incubating businesses to revive an ailing local economy. At the Food Project in Boston, young gardeners grow high-quality, low-cost food for their communities — and in the process learn important lessons about diversity, employment and community development. A student at School Without Walls in Washington, DC, describes a school experience where he and his peers "always have a connection back to reality, back to life, back to the other disciplines in schools." What is the common core of these diverse learning experiences? They are all rooted in community. All aspects of the learning experience — the content, the instruction, the environment in which learning happens — grow out of local realities, both cultural and physical. Close to Home offers a short exploration of learning environments like these, looking at the what, why and how of community-rooted learning.

Publishing Date: 
December 15, 2003
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