Dearborn Middle School

Boston, Massachusetts
Using Place-Based Education to Achieve State Standards

Dearborn Middle School, in the Roxbury Neighborhood of Boston, began work with CO-SEED in the fall of 2003. With strong community connections already in place, Dearborn chose to work with the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) in order to use local cultural and natural resources.

An AMC representative helps support Dearborn teachers in science. The AMC representative brings a naturalist’s experience and perspective into the classroom. With CO-SEED and AMC help, Dearborn teachers are making the transition to a more project-based curriculum that gets students out into the community. The Program brings more community partners into Dearborn, such as Alternatives for Community and Environment, The Food Project, and the Boston Public Health Commission.

For CO-SEED to succeed, it must become a part of a school’s culture and its academics. To achieve this goal, the AMC representative works with the Dearborn After-School Academy (DASA) to involve students in outdoor leadership and activities. Another goal of the Program is to train teachers to take students on outdoor trips so that the CO-SEED Program will continue after the official partnership between the Dearborn Middle School and CO-SEED ends.

Sample Success Stories

* 6th grade Dearborn Middle School Students took a field trip to Mountain Classroom – an AMC program in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. An AMC representative is working to make this trip happen again and to incorporate it into classroom learning.

* Dearborn Middle School held a science fair with the theme of Uncovering Rox. The fair connected students to the Roxbury Conglomerate – a unique geological formation in the area. The Event’s organizers invited community members to attend the fair as guest judges.

* With the help of the AMC and the Boston Public Health Commission Dearborn students began an air-quality monitoring project.