Heritage Projects & Place-Based Education
Krystle, a senior at Broadwater
(County) High School, in Townsend, MT, interviews
ranch wife, Mrs. Dorothy Hahn, for a Heritage Project
Students and teachers participating in a Heritage Project are asked
to explore their community's place in national and world events;
its relationship to the natural and built environments; and its
cultural heritage as expressed in traditions and celebrations, literature
and arts, the local and global economy, and everyday life. The broad
goals of a Heritage project are to positively impact a particular
state or school's educational achievement by providing teachers
and students the means and motivation to become cultural researchers
and historians of their own communities.
Project students and schools conduct research at public community
gatherings and in such places as people's homes, lumber mills and
fire stations, and in libraries and archives. They acquire practical
skills in using documentary media - cameras, audio and video tape
recorders; learn how to critically analyze and interpret texts of
all kinds; and turn raw data into interpretive exhibits and scholarly
products. In this way, they discover the importance of maintaining
and preserving their research findings for use by the local community
and by the next generation of scholars.
Heritage projects like the ones that AFC helped establish several years ago in Arizona and Montana engage young people in conducting place-based research. Consult the articles and educational resources listed below to understand how and in what
ways place-based educational programs are developed and their impact on student engagement with schools
" ...dedicated to teaching young people to think clearly and deeply about the world they face... to
form research questions, gather evidence, and reflect critically upon what they find..."
Student literary magazine (2000) produced
by students at Simms
High School, Simms, MT
Learn more about the Montana
" ...one of AHP's goals is to develop 'citizens' in the fullest sense of the word -- students who
value the history of their place, and who are engaged in shaping their community's future.
Arizona Heritage Project was a program at the
Cactus Shadows High School, Cave Creek, AZ
- "The Power of Community-Centered Education: Teaching as a Craft of Place"
by Michael Umphrey (2007)
- "Arizona Heritage
Project Investigates Community Folklife, History, and Culture"
by Guha Shankar, Folklife Center News, Volume 26 no. 4, page 8-10 (2004) [PDF 1.9 MB]
- "The Power of
the Real: The Montana Heritage Project After Seven Years,"
by Michael Umphrey, Folklife Center News, Volume 24, no. 4, pp. 3-8 (2002) [PDF, 806 KB]
- "Montana Heritage
Education Project Brings Schools Back Into Community," by Michael Umphrey, Folklife Center News, Volume 19, no. 3-4, pp 3-9
(1997) [PDF, 4.36 MB]
- Montana Heritage
Workshop: New Project Looks to "The Next Generation"
by Alan Jabbour, Folklife Center News, Volume 17, no. 2, pp. 12-13 (1995) [PDF, 3.48 MB]