Attention to place-based pedagogy in teacher education is needed if we value a conceptualization of citizenship wherein people assume responsibility for their community and its physical setting. Place-based pedagogy seeks to prepare citizens who understand their local lives and are thus prepared to participate in the democratic processes of its creation and sustainability. It is explicitly learner-centred and in its most mature form seeks democratic participation spiralling from the local to the global. In this study, I describe my own efforts with place-based pedagogy: a pen pal project between teacher candidates and local, rural second graders. Within the project, the children embraced the opportunity to explore and assert their out-of-school literacies, but the pre-service teachers' responses to the children point to the complexity involved in shifting away from decontextualized teacher education toward a model where place matters.
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