A “sense of place” refers to a child’s connection with their community and natural environment. A sense of place is developed with a place-based education approach that fosters those connections. Place-based education immerses children in their local community, landscapes, heritage, and experiences. It is using the local natural and human world to learn science, social studies, math, art, music, and language.
Research has shown that children lose their sense of place when they are focused too quickly or exclusively on national or global issues. It follows the idea that before children can tackle the problems of the rainforest in Brazil they need to love the woods down the street. By exploring the local environment children learn a fundamental connection to the natural world and their place in it. Place-based education does not overlook global or national issues but simply strives to give children a sense of their own place and a love of their own place first. Through hands-on, project-based learning children get involved in the real world right outside their door.
Related Growing Up WILD activities:
- Oh, Deer! (pg. 48)
- Field Study Fun (pg. 58)
Related KinderNature activities: