Schools That Change Communities
About This Episode
From economically challenged rural areas to crime-ridden urban neighborhoods, Schools That Change Communities profiles a diverse range of K-12 public schools in five states — Massachusetts, Maryland, South Dakota, Oregon and California — that are tackling educational reform at the local level. Principals, teachers, students, residents and others discuss place- and community-based education, an interdisciplinary approach which emphasizes hands-on, curiosity-based investigation using the surrounding community and neighborhoods as "living" classrooms. Proponents say this creates not only a different type of learning environment, but a different kind of student.
In confronting and solving real-world issues in their own hometowns, the students develop a sense of civic responsibility and pride. The community feels the impact too, whether students are delivering baked goods to neighbors, planting vegetables in a community garden, testing drinking water and air quality, helping restore natural habitats, shining a light on important social or environmental problems, or simply encouraging others to spend money locally.