Paul Reville, Massachusetts Secretary of Education is keynote speaker at opening

The New Bedford ECHO Project and New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park invite the public to attend a free 3-day Place-Based Learning Symposium December 1-3, 2010 at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Registration is required. Place-based learning fosters education through observation and activities beyond the classroom. Museums, cultural centers, and many other non-traditional learning centers provide a unique environment for enhancing the educational experience and lifelong learning. The symposium is a unique opportunity for school administrators, educators and representatives of cultural organizations to gather and discuss all aspects of place-based learning.

Registration is free and open to the public. For more information: or to request a registration packet, call Sara Meirowitz: 508-997-0046 ext 123.

The symposium will focus on the different interpretations, benefits and drawbacks of place-based learning, as well as ways to assess and evaluate its effectiveness.

The symposium will address four main themes:

– Leveraging regional success stories on a national scale

– Successful place-based learning programs and partnerships

– How standardization of the current educational system creates disparities in the educational attainment of native/underserved/minority students

– Value and shortcomings of place-based learning including assessment and evaluation

Wednesday, December 1st | 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Dinner & Conference Opening

Welcome – Mayor Scott W. Lang, City of New Bedford

Keynote Address – Paul Reville, Secretary of Education – Commonwealth of Massachusetts

As Secretary of Education, Paul Reville directs the Executive Office of Education. The Secretary oversees the three education agencies of the Commonwealth – the Department of Early Education and Care, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Department of Higher Education – as well as the University of Massachusetts. Paul will use his vast experience to help set the stage from the perspective of the Office of Education and State of Massachusetts on the future goals of education for our students and educators.

Thursday, December 2nd 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Keynote: Larisa K. Schelkin, CEO & President and Co-Founding Director of the Diversity and Outreach in Math and Engineering (DOME) Foundation, Inc. Larisa served as the Special Assistant to the President for Diversity at WIT in Boston, Massachusetts, and also as Director for the Center for Diversity and Inclusive Leadership at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.

ECHO Panel

Concurrent Session Tracks 1 and 2

Friday, December 3rd 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Keynote: Virginia K. Freyermuth is an Assistant Professor of Art Education at Rhode Island College and has been an art educator to all grade levels, from K-12 to college and adult, for 35 years.

Keynote: Jack Crowley is the Co Director of the Connecting Oceans Teacher Academy ECHO Project at the Ocean Explorium at New Bedford Seaport and the Center for University, School and Community Partnerships at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and has been teaching and administering marine education programs K-16 for over forty years.

Regional Focus Breakout Groups

Wrap Up

The Place-Based Learning Symposium is an initiative of the New Bedford ECHO Project  which is a partnership of the New Bedford Whaling Museum and the Ocean Explorium. Information about the symposium and the registration form can also be found at 

 The symposium is funded in part through a grant from the Education through Cultural and Historical Organizations (ECHO), administered by the United States Department of Education, Office of Innovation and Improvement and the National Park Service.

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