"An alignment between education and the full range of life experiences congruent with the human condition"









  • Dewey, J. (2001). The school and Society & the child and the curriculum. Free Press.
    Abstract: One of the fathers of service-learning and purveyors of social and school amalgamation, Dewey wrote to explore the ways in which life in and outside of school balance and compliment each other. This book is an accord of the psychological dependency for explorative space and how it relates to a progressive education.
  • Hutchison, D. (2004). A natural history of place in education. Teachers College Press.
    Abstract: This book considers the philosophy of place in education and everyday life, the history of and current trends in school design, the school infrastructure crisis, and the relationship between the philosophy of education and classroom design. Hutchison argues that pressures on schools associated with declining budgets, competing ideologies, and economic/technological shifts have the potential to radically alter the landscape of the K-12 school experience. He discusses strategies for mediating these pressures and strengthening a sense of place in education. (from
  • Sobel, D. (2004). Place-based education: Connecting classrooms and communities. Orion Society.
    Abstract: This new book by Dr. Sobel is the most comprehensive review of place-based education to be published, an eloquent layering of pedagogy and practical examples taken from practicing classrooms--urban, suburban, and rural, coast-to-coast. Place-Based Education: Connecting Classrooms & Communities offers scientific and anecdotal evidence that place-based education is successfully meeting, and in many cases, surpassing the various standards and mandates that are increasingly a part of educational reform in this country. (from the foreword by Laurie Lane-Zucker)
  • Wilson, W.J. (1996). When work disappears: The world of the new urban poor. New York: Vintage Books.
    Abstract: Wilson notes a direct link between growing joblessness and what he calls ghetto-related behavior and attitudes- fatherless children born out of wedlock, drugs, crime, gang violence, hopelessness- but emphasizes that structural changes can affect a turnaround. His plan to reverse declining employment and social inequality includes proposals for city-suburban collaboration, private-sector partnerships with public schools, national health insurance, and time limits on welfare for able-bodied recipients combined with guaranteed jobs in a public-works program modeled on the New Deal's Works Progress Administration. (from Publisher's Weekly)


  • Alberg, M., McDonald, A., McSparrin-Gallagher, B., Steven Ross. (2007). Achievement and Climate Outcomes for the Knowledge is Power Program in an Inner-City Middle School. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk. 12 (2). 137-65.
    Abstract: This study was designed to examine the effects of a whole school reform, the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP), specifically designed to raise academic achievement of at-risk urban middle school students by establishing an extended school day and year, a rigorous curriculum, after-school access to teachers, and increased family-school connections.
  • Cordisco, J.H. (1979) Community-based learning in the secondary school. Educational Leadership, 36(7), 493-97.
    Abstract: An account of students in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, who leave their school to spend as much as a full semester learning about the adult world.
  • Giri, B., Ravi P. Shankar. (2006). Community-Based Learning in a time of Conflict. PLoS Medicine, 3 (2), 272-73
    Abstract: This article
     describes the trials and tribulations of the urban kids learning in the field at Nepal. This source gives a detailed description of the actual process of CBL in the field of medical education, and although it does not relate directly to urban education, it provides an alternate practical application of community-based learning.
  • Gruenewald, G. (2003). The best of both worlds: A critical pedagogy of place. Educational Researcher, 32, 3-12.
    Abstract: This study takes the position that "critical pedagogy" and "place-based education" are mutually supportive educational traditions, recommending a conscious synthesis that blends the two discourses into a critical pedagogy of place. It discusses critical pedagogy's sociological context, describes ecological place-based education, and defines a critical pedagogy of place which seeks the twin objectives of decolonization and "reinhabitation" through synthesizing critical and placed-based approaches.
  • Hogan, K. (2002). Pitfalls of Community-Based Learning: How Power Dynamics Limit Adolescents’ Trajectories of Growth and Participation. Teachers College Record, 104 (3), 586-625.
    This is a fascinating article because it actually breaks down the roles of students, teachers, and activity coordinators for a project involving an environmental group. It also highlights the interaction between (rural) students and the instructors/teachers when they are both in and out of a classroom setting.

  • Smith, G. (2002). Place-based education: Learning to be where we are. Phi Delta Kappan. 83, 584-594.
    Abstract: Describes the characteristics, benefits, and common elements of place-based education. Identifies five thematic patterns: cultural studies, nature studies, real-world problem solving, internships and entrepreneurial opportunities, and induction into community processes.
  • Tolbert, L., P. Theobald. (2006). Finding their place in the community: Urban education outside the classroom. Childhood Education, 82(5), 271-74.
    This article defines place-based objectives held within a 'constructivist' context. It identifies the democratic rationale of place-based learning, as well as the characteristics of urban schools and the methodology adopted to meet place-based needs. Examples include after-school programs, service-learning, and native art and memoralia displays.