I’m excited to kick off our next Modern Learners Community theme “Places and Spaces” with today’s interview with Tom Vander Ark. Tom is the CEO of Getting Smart and his brand new book Place Based Learning: Authentic Learning through Place-Based Education has just been released. He co-authored the book with Emily Liebag and Nate McClennen.
In the book, Vander Ark defines place-based learning as anytime, anywhere learning that leverages the power of place to personalize learning. Later the authors add the idea of connecting projects to community, delving into authentic problems, and encouraging public products which ultimately develop an ethic of contribution.
Tom Vander Ark’s reflection on space and context reminded me of an experience where I attended a network meeting at a school with a working vineyard. The lesson that came out of this day was not that every school should get their own vineyard, but that every school should look for such opportunities based on their own context.