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Using Place-Based Education to Achieve Global Education

One Virginia Tech professor advocates place-based education instead of "globalized education" to help students better connect with their lessons.

Amy Price Azano wrote a recent piece for SmartBlogs.com in which she questions the emphasis on ensuring students are competing globally, and instead encourages a focus on "globalized learning without sacrificing what's important on a local level."

"So, forgive me if I roll my eyes when I hear terms like globalized education," Azano writes. "Glocalized learning, by contrast, allows us to help students forge connections between local and global understandings. Place-based education provides familiar footing, inviting students to use their home knowledge to foster connections to a curriculum that might otherwise seem impersonal and irrelevant."

Azano is a big proponent of rural schools using place-based education, with teachers using students' surroundings as a means to help them understand lessons. She did a study that was published in the Journal of Research in Rural Education that explored the benefits and drawbacks of one teacher's use of that instructional approach.

In this new post, she said teachers who use students' familiarity with place and local knowledge helps them engage in lessons and and develop expertise. Students who can understand how a concept or issue plays out locally can build on that to reach more global perspectives on the same topic, Azano writes.

"An eye toward the broad aim of schooling and civics education for a global community makes sense, but, rather than a competitive, ethnocentric stance, we can engender a worldview in students -- and place-based pedagogy can help us do that," she writes.

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