Home / Titles / Schools that Change Communities
Print Page

Schools that Change Communities

» Request Preview Access

School Bd/College/University DVD: $225
K-12 Single School DVD: $95
Public Library (HUO) DVD: $49.95


Grade Level: SrH-Adult
Producer: Video Project
Closed Captioned: Yes
Running Time: 58 mins
Country of Origin: United States
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 2012
Available in French: No

Schools that Change Communities profiles a diverse group of public schools that are successfully creating higher achieving students in a different way -- by turning the communities where they live into their classrooms.

The film re-imagines what education can be, visiting K-12 public schools in five states across America that are engaging students in learning by solving real-world problems in a variety of communities, from economically and environmentally challenged rural areas to poverty-stricken urban neighborhoods.

High school students in Howard, SD, build an interdisciplinary curriculum around a plan to save the town's struggling economy. In a Boston neighborhood with a high level of crime and poverty, students learn to connect the dots between what their community seems to the outside world and what it might become. In a small Appalachian town, elementary school students help clean up an adjacent stream polluted by acid mine drainage from former coal mines. In Watsonville, CA, high school students studying Roosevelt's New Deal try to come up with a New Deal for their farming community. In Cottage Grove, OR, students help create a sustainable environment, while learning valuable science, engineering and math lessons.

In the film, administrators, teachers, students and local residents discuss their projects and the value they find in place- and community-based education -- an interdisciplinary approach which emphasizes hands-on, curiosity-based investigation using surrounding neighborhoods as "living" classrooms. By confronting and solving real-world issues in their hometowns, students become more engaged in the learning process and develop a stronger sense of civic responsibility and pride. Plus, the local communities benefit, as well.
Scene Selection • Closed Captioned
The DVD includes five extended interviews with film participants:
- Purposeful Instruction – Dana McCauley, Principal, Crellin Elementary School; Crellin, Maryland
- Rural Community – Dr. James B. Beddow, Former Director, Rural Learning Center; Howard, South Dakota
- Horticulture Therapy – Maggie Matoba, Garden Coordinator, Kennedy Alternative High School; Cottage Grove, Oregon
- Interdisciplinary Curriculum – Christine Kopecky, English Teacher, and Gerardo Loyola, History Teacher, Watsonville High School; Watsonville, California
- People Power – Chandra Joseph-Lacet, Upper-Middle School Coordinator, Young Achievers Science & Math Pilot School; Boston, Massachusetts

“This is a fantastic introduction – the best I've ever experienced – to existing and potential links between schools and communities. The cultural and geographical diversity of communities profiled, along with their unique challenges, creates an expansive range of ideas for others to consider.”
— David Greenwoord, Canada Research Chair in Environmental Education, Lakehead University, Ontario, Canada