Guiding Principles for Place-Based Education

The Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (GLSI) together with its regional hubs developed guiding principles to describe the GLSI’s vision of exemplary Place-Based Stewardship Education (PBSE) in a K-12 context.

Throughout our state, many PBSE projects exist. Locally, Flint Southwestern Classical Academy is participating in its own project, which has has been recognized on the GLSI website. For the complete case study, click HERE. Or, for a brief summary, click HERE.

Ten Guiding Principles

  • Situate environmental learning and stewardship in the places students live, grow, and play.
  • Equip students to understand how all humans, in various ways, affect and are affected by the natural environment, and that the community’s environmental resources, laws, beliefs, and perspectives influence and are influenced by broader physical and social systems.
  • Rely extensively on hands-on, inquiry-based experiential teaching and learning. Teach students to draw on multiple disciplines and ways of knowing as they consider and take action on local stewardship needs. Include assessments for learning as well as assessments that generate evidence of learning. Establish clear but flexible learning goals that relate to robust standards for student achievement. Use PBSE to inform, enhance, and support school building and district priorities
  • Cultivate collaborative, mutually beneficial school-community partnerships.
  • Explore local environmental issues over a period of weeks or months, with sufficient time for all parts of the inquiry cycle and relationship development, and offer opportunities to repeat the process over the years of schooling.
  • Deliver meaningful benefits to the local environment and the community through PBSE.
  • Cultivate student voice and involve students in democratic practices throughout the course of a PBSE effort.
  • Use deliberate processes to identify and consider multiple perspectives regarding a stewardship issue or project.
  • Incorporate opportunities for students to develop and clarify their personal values related to nature and community, and to develop the social competencies essential to stewardship.
  • Support and enable the visible, meaningful participation of students in the community’s public discourse.