Environmental Studies Program



Megan Swain

Date of this Version



Environmental Studies Undergraduate Student Thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2023


Copyright 2023, Megan Swain


How do we connect students to a class and how do educational professionals create those connections? What makes an educational experience memorable? How do we cultivate students who are passionate and engaged? These are all important questions in educational fields and ones that have increasing importance in a world of growing virtual education. This thesis aims to look deeper into one method, place-based education that attempts to answer some of these questions.

Place-based education (PBE) is a pedagogy that utilizes the local physical environment and community as an educational tool. Educators focus lessons on places, people, and things surrounding their community to decrease the gap between school and the real world. PBE aims to increase a learner’s connection to the material and create ties to the place and community (Smith, 2002). Local culture, history, landscapes, and heritage are the focus with field trips/experiences playing a key role in instruction.