West Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative

We connect students to their community using place-based education supports to help them discover, analyze, and solve problems and develop a sense of place.Innovative Professional Development

Intended Outcomes of Service:

Teachers will learn the tenets of place-based education, implement the curriculum-embedded, place-based project within their classrooms, and learn strategies and techniques that support this learning.

Examples of Service:

  • Teachers meeting with field coordinators to plan part of their project
  • Teams of teachers engaged in regular school meetings to work onHelp their place-based education plan
  • School buildings engaging in place-based education leadership teams
  • Teachers participate in summer institutes, dinner and dialogues, and carry out their projects which they celebrate at a youth symposium

Intended Audiences:

  • Direct service to student or students
  • Individual or group of classroom teachers (grade level, department, etc.)
  • School building or district administrator
  • School building leadership team

Delivery Methods:

  • Facilitation of a meeting (more than 1 other person)
  • Providing or leading training on a specific topic (conducting a workshop)
  • Modeling instructional practices in the classroom
  • Working directly with students (Instruction/Facilitation)
  • Working directly with administrators or building leadership teams
  • Being an attendee (content expert) at a meeting (not facilitating)
  • Planning with a teacher(s) (1-1 or group)
  • Analyzing data with a teacher(s) or leadership team (1-1 or group)
  • Cognitive coaching (feedback)
  • Advising/recommending a course of action
  • Coordinating an event, activity, or collaboration

Networks Supported:

  • WMGLSI - West Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative

For more information contact:

Erica Johnson
Place Based Education Specialist
Phone:  231-767-7337
Contact Erica Johnson via email

Rachel Kent
Project Based Learning Coach
Phone:  231-767-7261
Contact Rachel Kent via email

Kathy VanTil
Design Thinking Coach
Phone:  231-767-7333
Contact Kathy VanTil via email

The West Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative is a collaborative effort between the MAISD and various other community agencies in the West Michigan Area.  The Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative is a unique model that uses place-based education to connect schools with their communities to create learning experiences for students that have lasting impacts on the environment. Through regional hubs, teachers receive professional development to better facilitate inquiry-based learning and problem-solving. Collaboration between schools and communities provides students with the opportunity to address local environmental issues. The resulting vibrant, hands-on learning experiences are designed to increase student achievement and help young Michigan residents become lifelong advocates for the Great Lakes.  

Additional resources are provided via email request.  To make a request via email, please use the HELP button (above).