Professional Development Resources

Place-Based Education Series:

Want to know more about place-based education?

A free place-based education (PBE) video series, produced by  University Outreach at the University of Michigan-Flint, is available for online viewing. The series was made possible through a $20,000 grant by the Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network and support from the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative.

Two ways to take advantage of the series:

  • Michigan teachers can enroll ─ completely free of charge ─ in online professional development sessions featuring the videos, and earn 0.4 State Board Continuing Education Units (SB-CEUs) for completing the series. Enrollment is offered quarterly through the University of Michigan-Flint Office of Extended Learning. To sign up or learn more about receiving credit for the series, click here; be sure to include your name, address, e-mail and a message regarding your interest in the UM-Flint University Outreach Place-Based Education video series.
  • Educators not seeking SB-CEUs, parents and community members may view individual video segments online, along with related resources, by clicking here.

Video segments include:

1. Principles of Place-Based Education (PBE) (24.30, David Sobel, Jon Yoder, Chris Heeter)

2. Building School-Community Partnerships (35.02, Mona Munroe-Younis, M’Lis Bartlett, Matthew Washington, Jon Yoder)

3. PBE and Sustainable Communities (31.54, Jon Yoder, Matthew Washington)

4. Designing Place-Based Education Projects and Activities (2-part segment)

a. Designing PBE Projects through Community Mapping (20.30, Brian Willingham)

b. Designing PBE Projects with Student Voice and Choice and the Earth Force Process (23.03, Ashley Miller-Helmholdt, David Sobel, Jon Yoder)

5. Authentic Assessment of Student Achievement (31.07, Rebecca Nielsen, Jon Yoder)

6. Working Outdoors with Students (21.05, Katherine Hollins, Matthew Washington, Jon Yoder)

7. Connecting PBE to Curriculum Standards (20.36, Rebecca Nielsen, Jon Yoder, David Sobel)

Past Workshop Presentations and Resource Materials:


Oct. 23, 2012: Leadership development and project management

Leadership & team-building worksheet

Free budgeting and project management templates:

Aug. 23, 2012 “Our Cities, Our Classrooms” conference

The Power of Place, Keynote Ryan Huppert, Grand Rapids Public Schools

School Gardens Nutrition Education, Joy Baldwin, NorthWest Initiative (former role)

Beyond the Paper and Pencil Test: Assessing PBE, Rebecca Nielsen, Nielsen Education Consulting

Opportunities for Outdoor Learning – Lessons from Chatfield School, Peter McCreedy, The Chatfield School

Exploring Theme Gardens, Dr. Norm Lownds, Michigan State University School of Horticulture

Integrating Technology into your Garden and Classroom, Dr. Norm Lownds, Michigan State University School of Horticulture

Building Bridges: Kids, Nature, NWF and You, Julia Liljegren, National Wildlife Federation – Great Lakes Regional Center

For-Mar Truck Farm: Bringing the Farm to YOU, Heather Schwerin, For-Mar Nature Preserve and Arboretum

May 5, 2012: Logic models and grant writing

Logic model template

March 21, 2012: Curriculum connections

Presentation, Planning for Rigorous PBE, Rebecca Nielsen

Feb. 16, 2012: Asset-mapping, project development

Project development worksheet

Jan. 21, 2012: Inquiry, asset-mapping, curriculum

Detailed inquiry exercise

Asset-mapping resources:

Dec. 14, 2011: Celebration dinner

Presentation: Diversity of the Mind, Matthew S. Washington

Nov. 17, 2011: Building Partnerships, Inquiry-Based Learning

Inquiry-Based Learning Practice/Journaling Activity

Presentation: Building Partnerships, Mona Munroe-Younis and M’Lis Barlett

Oct. 19, 2011: Inquiry-Based Learning, Environmental Justice

Presentation, Nature is Where You Find It, Dorothy McLeer, UM-Dearborn naturalist

Sept. 22, 2011: Place-Based Education and Environmental Justice

Presentation: Environmental Justice and Injustice in Flint, Danielle Gartner and Mona Munroe-Younis

Environmental Justice readings