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 Place-based Stewardship 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:

Reports, Evaluations & Case Studies

Recent Articles

2017 | “As its population falls, Detroit adjust“, Wall Street Journal

2017 | Teaching for equity and environmental justiceGreen Schools Catalyst Quarterly

2017 | How good teachers are making a difference in Detroit’s multiethnic classrooms“, Model D

2016 | “Out of the Classroom: Learning comes alive when students engage in place-based education“, Eastern Magazine: The magazine of Eastern Michigan University

2016 | Fostering Youth Leadership in Urban Places“, Green Teacher Magazine, article originally appears in the Summer 2016 Issue

2016 | Education Coalition works to connect Detroit students with their community”, Detroit Metro Times

2016 | “Eastern Michigan University professor recognized for his dedication to building partnerships between schools and community partners“, Eastern Michigan University’s EMU Today

2015 |  “Green Living: Growing Visionary Educational Communities”, Crazy Wisdom Journal

2015 | “Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition hosts annual community forum at Eastern Michigan University, celebrates importance of young stewards in local communities“, Eastern Michigan University’s EMU Today

Additional publications on Place-Based Education 

Check out older articles here!
5.26.2015 | Eastern Michigan University’s EMU Today: “Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition hosts annual community forum at Eastern Michigan University, celebrates importance of young stewards in local communities

4.29.2015 | Earth “Great Lakes Literacy: Telling Our Story

1.7.2015 | Eastern Michigan University’s EMU Today: “Eastern Michigan University again earns Carnegie Foundation designation for exceptional community engagement


10.14.2014 | “Detroit kids become environmental citizens through place-based learning”   9.30.2014 | Model D: “Place-based education motivates students by connecting learning to community”

2014 | Model D: “Detroit kids become environmental citizens through place-based learning

7.17.14 | Macomb Daily “UCS Teacher Named Finalist for National Award”   5.18.14 | Detroit Free Press “DNR’s Salmon in the Classroom project” (video)   5.12.14 | Eastern Michigan University’s EMU Today: “Area students, schools and non-profits honored at EMU for work as stewards of the Great Lakes region ecosystem.”   2.12.14 | Ann Arbor Rotary Harpoon: “Notes from the Program”


11.8.13 | DPS News from the Schools: “Schools going green at DIT at Cody”   3.16.13 | Michigan Nightlight: “Place-Based Stewardship Education Initiative”


5.1.12 | The Crazy Wisdom Community Journal: “Planting a Seed”   4.25.12 | “National Endowment for the Arts awards $1.5 million to 21 Michigan arts and cultural institutions” 


3.13.11 | Ann Arbor News:  “Ann Arbor Learning Community turns trash into artwork as part of event celebrating diversity”   3.7.11 | Ann Arbor News: “Ann Arbor Learning Community students ditch the classroom for an outdoor learning experience

“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

Teacher, Honey Creek Community School

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, check our blog post. We’re always available to answer your questions and point you to additional resources.

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