From economically challenged rural areas to crime-ridden urban neighborhoods, a diverse range of K-12 public schools in five states are tackling educational reform at the local level. Principals, teachers, students, residents and others discuss place- and community-based education, an interdisciplinary approach which emphasizes hands-on, curiosity-based investigation using the surrounding community and neighborhoods as "living" classrooms. Proponents say this creates not only a different type of learning environment, but a different kind of student. In confronting and solving real-world issues in their own hometowns, the students develop a sense of civic responsibility and pride. The community feels the impact too, whether students are delivering baked goods to neighbors, planting vegetables in a community garden, testing drinking water and air quality, helping restore natural habitats, shining a light on important social or environmental problems, or simply encouraging others to spend money locally. Schools that Change Communities airs Wednesday, September 25 at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., and Thursday, September 26 at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on WXXI World.
This program is part of WXXI's American Graduate project to educate the community on the dropout problem, rally support to get the community involved, and help provide pathways to community resources to address the problem. To learn more visit our website.
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