RESEARCH & PUBLICATIONS
An active voice in the national dialogue on place-based education
The SEMIS Coalition uses research-based practices in teacher professional development and coalition building to provide sustained professional development throughout the year, including an intensive summer institute.
We also facilitate partnerships between school teams and community organizations, and provide on-site facilitation of professional learning communities, classroom coaching, and active coordination with school administrators.
As these activities take place, we are constantly assessing and evaluating our methods for effectiveness in a variety of dimensions. Please stay tuned to this section for posts about our research findings and evaluation tools.
Current research about the impact of EcoJustice and place-based education
- The Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative provides funding and research in best practices across nine regional hubs in place-based education focused on three core areas:
- In 2008, the National Youth Leadership Council released evidence-based standards and accompanying indicators that K-12 practitioners can use to ensure high-quality service-learning practice, found here: K-12 and CBO Service-Learning Standards for Quality Practice
- Place-Based Education Evaluation Collaborative (PEEC) works with a diverse group of organizations to create research and evaluation instruments and consolidate scholarly research on PBE projects.
- Report on the Benefits of Place-Based Education (PEEC)
- The Center for Place-Based Education & Dr. David Sobel pioneered the concept of PBE. In his definition, Sobel states: “Place-based education is the process of using the local community and environment as a starting point to teach concepts in language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and other subjects across the curriculum. Emphasizing hands-on, real-world learning experiences, this approach to education increases academic achievement, helps students develop stronger ties to their community, enhances students’ appreciation for the natural world, and creates a heightened commitment to serving as active, contributing citizens. Community vitality and environmental quality are improved through the active engagement of local citizens, community organizations, and environmental resources in the life of the school.” An excerpt from his book describing his philosophy in detail can be found here:
- Place-Based Education: Connecting Classroom and Community
- Rural School & Community Trust’s goal is to develop and support highly effective teachers and leaders who are particularly disposed to and skilled at teaching, learning, and living in rural places with capacity building grants and evidence-based resources.
SEMIS Coalition research and evaluation documents
Reports, Evaluations & Case Studies
- Spencer Foundation Study (PDF)
- STEAM Project Evaluation (PDF)
- GLSI Environmental Grantmakers Association Report (PDF)
Articles, Book Chapters, White Papers, and Book References
- Developing Teachers’ Capacity for Ecojustice Education and Community-Based Learning; by Ethan Lowenstein, Rebecca Martusewicz, & Lisa Voelker; Teacher Education Quarterly, Fall 2010 (PDF)
Conference Presentations at Regional and National Conferences
- Promoting Civic Competency in the Detroit Area Through EcoJustice Education;
Ethan Lowenstein; Center for Engaged Democracy, July 18, 2013 (PPT)
- Putting Social Studies at the Center of Place-Based Education;
Ethan Lowenstein; Annual Place-Based Education Conference, Grand Rapids; Nov, 8, 2014 (PPT)
- EcoJustice Education and Community-Based Learning; The Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition (PPT)
- Place-Based Education and the Social Studies: Eco-Democratic Reform in Action; Ethan Lowenstein and John Lupinacci; NCSS CUFA; Nov. 19, 2014 (PPT)
- EcoJustice and Activism Conference History of Place, March 20th, 2015
EMU Dissertations, MA Projects and Other Research on SEMIS Coalition
- The Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition: A Deep Design of Eco-Democratic Reform
that is Situational, Local, and In Support of Living Systems; by John J. Lupinacci; Dissertation (PDF)
- Finding Place: Uncovering the roots of place-based educators in southeast Michigan; by Erin Stanley;
Eastern Michigan University; for EDPS 687 / Joe Bishop; April 13, 2014
SEMIS Coalition Newsletters
- January | GLSI Place Based Education Conference Highlights; DIT Cody Project Review
- February | Tools for Teachers; Experiencia Academy Project Review; History of the Commons
- April | The Power of Community Collaboration; Ann Arbor Learning Community Project Review; Fostering Civic Engagement
- May| Developmental Patterns in Conceiving the Commons; The Spencer Foundation; Tools for Teachers
“When I am able to implement PBE [place-based education] fully, students are fully engaged, leave with a broad range of ‘take away’ thoughts, and make connections I hadn’t even thought of!”Johnny Thompson
Learn more about place-based education
If you’d like to learn more about place-based education, its impact in real-world settings, or how to implement curricula in your educational setting, contact us. We’re always available to answer your questions and point you to additional resources.