Elevating Community Voices through Place-Based Education Initiatives in Chicago


  • Tyler Hough Professional Staff




place-based learning, community engagement, internships, community voices, Chicago


The Chicago Center for Urban Life and Culture is a non-profit organization that has been developing place-based education models since it was established in 1970. Situated in an urban environment, the Chicago Center operates at the intersection of higher education and place-based education with a pedagogical approach that centers and elevates community voices. Place-based education initiatives provide students with educational opportunities that emphasize active, experiential learning by immersing the participant in local, communities. The Chicago Center enriches place-based education by using a first-person instructional approach—First Voice Pedagogy—to expand the traditional classroom and link liberal arts education to applied learning through exposure to community-based leaders and organizations. This paper proposes a paradigm shift in place-based education and serves as an encouraging model for establishing more inclusive place-based initiatives.


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