It clearly takes a substantial teacher commitment and perhaps some outside money—but teachers all over Montana are providing amazing opportunities for students to connect to places, serve their state, and deepen their understanding of Montana’s history, literature, and Indian cultures, sometimes all at once.
Here are two examples.
You can read here about the Selway Sojourn taken by Freshmen from Cheryl Hughes’ Sentinel High School’s English class. The trip followed study of Darcy McNickle’s Surrounded and Pete Fromm’s Indian Creek Chronicles.
Columbus High English teacher Casey Olsen takes his students on a series of fieldtrips, immersing them in area history and Crow culture. Among them was this fieldtrip to the archaeological dig at the second Crow Agency. His students also work with the local museum to provide research for exhibits. (By the way: Olsen received funding from OPI/MHS's Museum-School Partnership Program. A new round of grants will be offered for next school year. Letter of intent is due April 23. See more here).
Place based learning can also happen on a less ambitious scale. One of our summer workshops, “A Grand Union: Connecting Students to Place,” will offer ideas for introducing students to the architecture of their own communities. There are still a few open spots for this workshop, which will be held Fort Benton, June 11-12, 2012. See here for more information.