Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Yasha Becton


Place-based education refers to pedagogy that connects student learning with the local environment and students’ lives. Educators’ preoccupation with standardized test scores have increased the disconnect between formal education and student’s life experiences. Schools have developed systems of learning in isolated subjects through reading texts, listening to lectures, or watching videos rather than authentic, experiential learning. School districts have embraced a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and science) approach to education as a way of invigorating student learning. There are many approaches to integrating, hands-on, inquiry-based science lessons. As science PASS test scores have declined, educators are examining best STEM instructional practices. Two essential questions guided the research. What impact would the implementation of From Seeds to Shoreline®, a place-based educational program, have on student attitude toward learning science and student achievement? At the conclusion of an action research study, the teacher-researcher found: (1) an increase in pre and post assessments of student attitude and engagement in learning science, (2) an increase in test scores after the implementation of the From Seeds to Shoreline® program, (3) an appreciation for the historical approaches and pedagogical evolution of place-based education, and (4) an appreciation for place-based education as a method of instruction and learning which incorporates interdisciplinary learning, problem-based learning, immersive experiential learning, student centered learning, and a constructivist model of learning