MMSLN Partners with Learning in Places through NSF Grant

In 2022, MMSLN received an NSF grant to support Learning in Places use in PK-5 classrooms throughout Michigan. Year 1 was a success as teachers learned about the Learning Engagements and Framework of Learning in Places and began co-design of the materials. Year 2 begins with our Learning in Places Summit in July, 2023. In Year 2, teachers will use the Learning in Places, Learning Engagements, in their classroom. Support through collaborative professional learning and PLC meetings is always provided.

If you are interested in field-based learning for PK-5 students, consider joining the project for Year 2. Teacher stipends are available and any travel costs are covered.

Join MMSLN and Learning in Places! Contact Mary Starr for more information.

Field-based learning provides experiences for students to ask questions they have never asked before. For example, in the Seasonal Storyline, students explore nature-culture connects. In the elementary classroom,  this means that the materials are trans-disciplinary.  “Socio-ecological decisions are those decisions made by humans, communities, organizations, and institutions that are informed by and impact the natural world. These decisions are affected by how we think about and enact relationships between humans and the natural world, what are called “nature-culture relations”. Emerging research demonstrates that there is cultural variation in how these relationships are conceptualized and impact how learning and teaching occur. For example, there is important variation across cultural communities around the coordination of attention in observation practices. Further these relational construals are shaped by history and powered social dynamics. For example, variations in air quality and soil quality in neighborhoods are often correlated with race and class. Engaging cultural variation as well as historicity and power, can and should serve as resources for more equitable and expansive field-based science learning. This suggests that learning outdoors in places that matter for learners and their families, that is, in complex socio-ecological systems, may enhance reasoning and decision-making and equitable science education.”

Learning in Places is funded by NSF grant #2201253 and built on grant #1720578. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.