Summary: Since the mid-1990s, the Nebraska Writing Project has been investigating place-conscious education and designing curricula and partnerships with place-conscious goals in mind. This seven-part audio series, created in 2020 out of their work with the National Parks Service partnership, provides an introduction to place-conscious education and delves into several curriculum and action projects teacher leaders have devised.
As part of a partnership between the National Writing Project and the National Park Service, the Nebraska Writing Project presents its Place-Conscious Education NWP Radio Podcast Series. This series is designed by and features the work of leading place-conscious teachers of writing and their students and draws upon 25+ years of site-based experience of the Nebraska Writing Project.
In this first podcast, “Basics of Place-Conscious Education: The Nebraska Experience”, Dr. Robert Brooke, the Director of the Nebraska Writing Project, outlines the four main concepts of place-conscious education and connects these to a number of initiatives around the state and country.
- Active citizens as opposed to migratory education
- The 3-legged stool of education, community vitality, and environmental quality
- Spiraling out from local community to regional, national, international knowledge
- Watershed and commonwealth as the crucial web of interrelationships
The podcast reviews the history of this work in Nebraska and includes examples of two exemplar projects: the Henderson/Bradshaw school consolidation project; and the Greater Omaha schools Urban Justice Project. The podcast is framed by two place-conscious poems: Don Welch’s “Advice from a Provincial” and Grace Bauer’s “Great Plains Prayer.”
Following this series introduction, subsequent episodes take listeners into specific place-conscious projects, interviewing teachers and learners, and illuminating different facets of place-conscious work. This series extends and updates the work described in their 2003 book Rural Voices: Place-Conscious Education and the Teaching of Writing, edited by Robert Brooke and published by NWP with Teachers College Press.