Place-based Learning Reflection

Your participation during Friday’s seminar contributed to a vibrant learning environment, one I hope will inspire you to take your own students out of your traditional classroom setting. As stated by Gregory Smith in Place-Based Education: Learning to Be Where We Are,

“teachers in such settings act as experienced guides, co-learners, and brokers of community resources and learning possibilities. Their expertise lies not so much in their stored knowledge – although this is important – as in their capacity to help students acquire the skills and dispositions of effective learners. (2002, p. 593).

To me this quote exemplifies how faculty can and should challenge their own teaching practices and venture outside of the classroom with students and seek to develop their student’s knowledge and desire to learn. To complete our place-based learning activity, reflection is most beneficial, and some, including me, argue necessary. To practice reflection, I ask that you provide two forms of reflection for Friday’s activity. First, one person from each group should post your stakeholder’s position on the proposed waterfront greenway along Second Avenue near Industry City, connecting Red Hook to Sunset Park and second, post your own personal reflection.

For the group reflection, log into the OpenLab and create a new post on our OpenLab site, choose the category “Industry City 2018” and provide the information that was asked during the activity (see below).

The name of the people in your group.

Your stakeholder.

Who benefits, who loses, what is won, what is lost, what is the cost?

State your stakeholder’s position.

For your own personal reflection, review Edutopia’s 40 Reflection Questions for the Classroom and choose two reflective questions. Log into the OpenLab and create a new post on our OpenLab site. Write the question you chose and then write your response. It would also be a beneficial practice to respond to another person’s post.

For more information about PBL in general or about the specific requirement to leave the classroom with City Tech students, take a look through the PBL page on the our OpenLab Site as well as the PBL page on the Faculty Commons Site.

I look forward to reading your reflections.

9 thoughts on “Place-based Learning Reflection

  1. Sam

    This off site training reinforced my previous understanding of the benefits. It goes a long way to enabling greater understanding between faculty and students.

  2. Sam

    For my personal reflection, I look backwards and see how this exercise adds to training on the need to change the physical plant ongoing of the classroom. Looking forward, I will schedule one off site learning event. Looking inward grateful for having learned from colleagues especially walking to waterfront and of course laughing with them, about how we could not support the project as community activists. Looking outward, I gained weight after eating the Ecuadorian food, we had. Great choice. Hence a win win for all.

  3. george

    Place-based Reflection.
    There is no question to me that place-based learning is an excellent opportunity to broaden students insight on the workings of a professional career and how to create working relationships as they evolve and maneuver their way in their chosen fields. And it shows them that work does not always take place in an office. A wonderful experience for me as well.

  4. Denise H. Sutton, PhD

    Place-Based Reflection Questions:
    1. How much did you know about this subject before we started?
    Because I had attended a BWRC conference and heard a speaker from UPROSE, I knew about the struggle of the surrounding Sunset Park community regarding the development of Industry City…and the threat of gentrification. However, entering the physical spaces–first coming out of the subway and walking through the neighborhood and then entering IC–made apparent the contrast as well as what could be lost via gentrification. That experience reinforced the power of place-based learning and how all the senses are engaged in the actual “place” or physical environment.
    2. What did you find frustrating about it?
    Just as sensory engagement can inform the learning process, it can also be overwhelming. I lost sight of part of the assignment because I was caught up in the sounds, smells, sights, and texture of IC…which reinforces the need for student prep and guidance in place-based learning (much more than the classroom, I guess, since the classroom is more of a “controlled” environment).

  5. Bridget Maley PhD,RN

    I found the experience very exciting and informative. I can see how place based learning can be beneficial to students as they may be exposed to areas and places that they didn’t know existed. It also creates a more relaxed environment where the students may be more open to participating in any discussions that go on during the class time and the group work is a very effective method to get the students involved. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.

  6. Anniechitlall1

    This was a very exciting experience for me, not being a native New Yorker I never knew that Industry city existed. Taking students outside of the classroom especially to such a diverse neighboorhood will definitely create a different learning environment. As a student I was never given the opportunity to be taken out of the classroom, I can see how placed-based learning can spark interest and motivate students to be more active learners. I found the experience very informative and rewarding.

  7. Ruth M.

    The assigned reading before going to Industry City affected the way I looked at this project. It was surprising to me, to see, there were so many different pieces, points of views, and people affected differently, when creating the green space. I did not understand this dynamic even though it had also happened right under my nose. I live in Long Island City and saw the creation of the greenspace. I did not think that there was anything but good to this, but I relearned that what may appear to be a good thing, can have negative consequences, specially when big business moves in. It was a great practice to experience place-based learning and I hope to implement it in the future. It was interesting to hear the comments about how the learner’s personal views about a location impacted how they learned. Thank you

  8. Josh Kapusinski

    How much did you know about the subject before we started?
    I didn’t know Industry City existed. Upon visiting, I quickly gathered the vibe and personality – it seemed very cookie cutter – a Brooklyn version of Chelsea Market or any other market with post-modern aesthetics. I enjoyed learning more about it nonetheless as well as the waterfront and community of Sunset Park. Personally, the exercise was confusing in the beginning with the double groups – dividing into a second group from the originally assigned stakeholder group – objective understood, but would have preferred it to be simpler. Small group work is always good, and having each group present at the end was good.

    Does this work tell a story?
    Yes, I think what we saw and discussed is visible in so many parts of the city. Change to communities. It is ever-evolving. The newest communities that just changed the dynamic of an area will eventually undergo change in the future, and so on and so forth.

    Overall, I enjoyed the visit and exercises. I did learn that going out on location made me become much less structured (i.e. less mindful of time) as a result of the environment change and distractions within the new environment, and I need to acknowledge that more as an instructor when I send my students out on location.

  9. Prof. Ryan McMillen

    Who doesn’t love a field trip? I think the Industry City visit elicited the same sense of exploration and positive displacement in myself that I have seen site-based learning elicit in groups of students I have taken outside the classroom in the past. The times I have taken students on field trips — I’ve never led a visit while I’ve taught here in NY, only in Los Angeles where the weather is more predictable — I’ve always been amazed at how much I assumed they had seen of their own city, and how much they had actually seen. I had the same experience in Industry City — I’ve actually been there dozens of times to visit the Brooklyn Flea, but had never really put my historian/educator lenses on to see it from a historical perspective (the past immigrant history of those particular buildings was fascinating). It felt new to me in the same way the world outside of the classroom feels to students who are made to venture outside of the classroom, and yet still look at the world as if they are in the classroom.


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