Book cover for Learning on Location: Place-Based Approaches for Diverse Learners in Higher Education by Ashley J. Holmes. Series on Engaged Learning and Teaching
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ISBN: 9781642674217

November 2023

Learning on Location offers an innovative framework and set of pedagogical pathways for engaging student experience through critical engagement with place. The book draws on interviews and case studies with educators in the United States and Canada to highlight pedagogies-in-action and to identify programmatic models for embedding location-based learning within specific courses, majors, curricula, and campus-wide initiatives. Providing a mix of theoretical framing and practical application, Learning on Location is organized around three key practices highlighted within the chapters: 1) writing on location, 2) walking on location, and 3) engaging the civic on location. Learning on location as a framework and pedagogy complements engaged teaching and high-impact practices, using reflection and partnership to deepen student learning through place-making.

The publication of Ashley Holmes’ Learning on Location: Place-Based Approaches for Diverse Learners in Higher Education has a special kind of timeliness to it. Just as campus stakeholders of all varieties are returning more fully to classrooms, Holmes shows us how locations writ large—from traditional public spaces to local, almost unnoticed neighborhoods—serve as new classrooms. Highlighting assignments from several disciplines and their role in place-based learning, Holmes demonstrates how the extracurricular classroom provides students with authentic opportunities to connect academic learning, lived experience, and identity in a new and innovative contextualized practice.

Kathleen Blake Yancey, Emerita Professor, Florida State University, and author or editor of sixteen books, including ePortfolio-as-Curriculum: Models and Practices for Developing Students’ ePortfolio Literacy

How to be here? What will become of this place we are in? Whose responsibility is it to care for our locally-lived futures? These are some of the key existential questions of our time, and of any time, that Learning on Location helps us to navigate. That it does so through the diverse voices of people enacting local learning in diverse places makes these pages come alive. Learning on Location will help educators imagine how to learn and live well in place.

David A. Greenwood, Professor, Lakehead University, Canada

D. H. Lawrence writes, “The spirit of place is a great reality.” Yet, we too rarely recognize that our campuses are rooted in communities—with responsibilities to places and neighbors. Professor Holmes does more than present immersive learning experiences and occasions for writing immune from ChatGPT. She provides a much-needed framework for civic engagement in the regions where we live and study.

Elaine Maimon, Ph.D., Advisor at the American Council on Education; Distinguished Fellow of the Association for Writing Across the Curriculum

Whether you’re “dipping, dangling, slipping, or jumping” into experiential learning, Ashley Holmes offers a meaningful, sound framework for learning outside of the traditional higher ed classroom. Practical supplementary handouts offer logistical recommendations and advice about how to curate effective learning experiences. Admirable examples from a diverse range of institutions across North America show readers how place-based pedagogy produces critical thinkers and citizens committed to building inclusive democracies.

Susan Hrach, author of Minding Bodies: How Physical Space, Sensation, and Movement Affect Learning (2021), and Director of the Faculty Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, Columbus State University, Georgia