Place-Based Education: Meaning, Benefits and Prospects for Learners in Rural Zambia
Keywords: Place-based, Rural Areas, Education, Development
AbstractThis article discusses the concept of place-based education by outlining its meaning, benefits, and prospects for learners that live in rural and remote areas of Zambia. The study used a descriptive research design, and the data was collected through in-depth interviews and a questionnaire. Interviews were held with in-service rural teachers and the questionnaire was also administered to the same teachers. Using the theory of critical pedagogy of place, this paper suggests how best the place-based learning can be organized to benefit some of the people especially the females living in the rural parts of Zambia. Place-based education in this study was construed as a form of education that takes place anywhere and therefore, the school’s geographical location is one context for learning to take place. The study revealed that despite the proliferation of place-based education venues, learners’ productivity is hampered when they are out of school. For example, girls and boys in Grade 9 are less productive in the Zambian Communities when they drop-out of School. This is because the skills they acquired for the nine years they spend in the education system are less meaningful. Respondents noted that offering education in the local context encourages real educational achievements for many learners. For example, learners can develop holistically and contribute to social matters meaningfully. Respondents observed that place-based learning can take place from anywhere and by anyone. The study recommended that to help learners fit in the society meaningfully, teachers and communities needs to create place-based educational opportunities for learners in many areas and these should be different from one another.