Master of Education

MEd for Experienced Educators, Place-Based Education


A student’s impact on the world begins with their connection to and participation in the local community.

The aim of place-based education is to increase local learning in the natural, built, and cultural environment. Place-based education increases motivation, improves student achievement, and empowers students and teachers to care for their surroundings. You can transform schools into centers of learning and action that utilize the local community as a context for developing essential skills and understandings. Regardless of where or who you teach, the principles of place-based education can be an integrating theme of your teaching and learning. Our program gives educators the tools to guide students to better understand and positively influence their world. This degree is offered by AU New England.

Program Overview

Through a mix of classroom, field-based, and online experiences, you have a chance to collaborate with educators from around the country and the globe who are making place-based education the focal point of their teaching and professional practice. This MEd concentration focuses on the process of using the local community and environment as starting points to integrate language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, art, music, and technology. The MEd is built on David Sobel’s pioneering program development and writing that sparked a nationwide and international movement to design and implement place-based learning. As educators, we have the opportunity to inspire students to develop strong ties to their community, increase appreciation for the natural world, and participate as active, contributing citizens. Community vitality and environmental quality are improved through the active engagement of local citizens, community organizations, and environmental resources in the life of the school. Make place an integrating context inside and outside of your classroom. Whether you teach 1st grade or middle school math or work in a public or independent school, this program guides you to develop the skills and understandings to be a place-based teacher and leader.

Degree Requirements

This program can be completed in 5-7 semesters with fully online and low residency options available. Students can begin in any semester and typically take 3-6 credits per term. Optional summer classes are available face-to-face in Keene, NH.

Take a look at the catalog for a full list of requirements and courses.

Not ready to commit to a full Master’s Degree program? Consider beginning with a certificate in Place-Based Education.

Optional Summer Residencies

If you choose to come to a summer residency instead of doing your program fully online, you can expect one or two weeks of a retreat-like experience in beautiful Keene, NH. Small classes offer lots of hands-on activities, community-based learning opportunities, and a socially engaging week of meeting with your online classmates and AUNE  faculty. In most concentrations, you can choose whether to attend face-to-face classes for either one or two weeks in the summer, and you don’t have to decide in advance. You can consult with your adviser and see what fits your schedule and learning style best.

Dates for residencies

Summer Residency Courses are held the first two full weeks of July following the week of the Fourth of July holiday- typically the first and second or second and third weeks of the month. Depending on your program, you can attend for the first or second week or come for both weeks.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Place-based Education concentration have the capacity to:

  • Understand citizenship and meaningful student participation in communities.
  • Incorporate place-based themes into teaching and classroom practice.
  • Implement place-based learning for educational equity.
  • Develop place-based integrated curricula designed to increase student achievement.
  • Integrate place-based curricula with existing state and national curriculum standards.
  • Help develop place-based teaching and learning in their schools.
  • Foster application of place-based principles with partnering organizations.
  • Help others understand place-based learning across a variety of contexts.
  • Connect professionally to national and international place-based educators.

Admissions / Cost / Aid

Upcoming Events

Recent News

Skip to content