The major question facing schools across the county is how to best prepare our children for the ever-changing world they are entering. Students must develop the skills, understandings, and mindsets necessary to prepare them for the careers and challenges of tomorrow. We know that students need multiple and varied strategic opportunities to explore, practice, and perfect 21st century skills such as collaboration, communication, citizenship, character, critical thinking, and creativity. Children learn by doing and emphasizing hands-on, real-world experiences makes learning more meaningful to students and helps lessons stick. For these reasons, Atlas strives to connect lessons learned in the classroom with authentic, place-based learning experiences.
Place-based learning is the process of using the local community and environment as both a starting point for inquiry and as a context for exploring and applying concepts and skills across the curriculum. Place-based education weaves together concepts from English Language Arts, math, science, social studies, and the arts, rather than teaching them exclusively in isolation. Place-based units are embedded with opportunities for students to practice 21st century skills.