Place Based Learning

In the learning from place: A return to traditional Mushkegowuk ways of Knowing by Jean-Paul Restoule article we learn that with placed based learning many things can be accomplished including rehabilitation and decolonization. In the article it was shown how bringing people closer to the land can lead to reclamation of culture and also build stronger communities. When reading this article, I was reminded of a book I had read when I was younger that was called Touching Spirit Bear. The premise of the book was about a boy with behaviour problems who was sent to a remote island in hopes he would seek answers from the land in order to find ways to help him in life. When he first arrived to the island, he was very annoyed and unhopeful but after he spent serval days there, he slowly began to appreciate everything the land had given to him and by the end of the book he completely changed personalities. I have always enjoyed reading this book because it gave me faith that the land is its own spirit and can be the answer to many problems. Back to the Restoule the article itself, in it they had taken their camp group to a river where their aim was to re-establish a connection between the youth the land, culture and life. They learned about the history of the river, how to live off of the river and noted significant sites along the way. By doing this they are reclaiming what was theirs and acknowledging decolonization as well. 

Place based learning in curriculum is essential for students and teachers in order to solve problems in the community. Considering rehibition and decolonization while adapting place based learning into my own classroom and subject areas will surely be helpful because without attempting to dig into historical roots of the students’ lives and acknowledging their community as one of the primary recourses for their learning than it would be quite difficult to gain the value from this type of learning. This means that it is essential to incorporate indigenous ways of knowing into all subject areas, making it central in the classroom. 

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