Putting education in context
School District 42 is in the municipality of Maple Ridge and the District of Pitt Meadows in British Columbia, Canada. Public educators there have been working to complement their conventional school system with a revolutionary approach to teaching—one that doesn’t rely on desks, chairs, blackboards, or even a classroom.
Local educator Clayton Maitland explains, “In the field of education there seems to be this shift in thinking. People want to do things differently. In the conventional system, we’ve moved further and further away from learning through real life experiences. They’ve removed experience from pedagogy.”
Inspired to bring experiential learning into his local school system, Maitland helped develop a program for place-based learning in School District 42. In place-based education, learning is experiential and happens in context. It empowers students to participate in both civic life and the natural world while helping them develop concrete skills and a deeper understanding of the public school curriculum.