Jackson Park: Analyzing the Obstacles
Place-based pedagogy appeals to me on a number of levels. hook's statement that place-based education fosters a sense of permanence in a transient world speaks to my own childhood in which I was displaced on my last day of kindergarten from my home by my parents’ divorce, as well as finding myself homeless on a number of occasions throughout the economic downturn of the mid-seventies. Throughout each of my middle-school years, sixth through eighth grades, I was enrolled in three schools each year as my step-father and mother moved not just from neighborhood to neighborhood, but state to state, sometimes living out of the back of the camper shell covering our pickup truck, sometimes landing on friends’ couches, sometimes walking the street all night to avoid detection from the police, sometimes working the fields alongside my parents as migrant workers harvesting anything from blueberries to plums to potatoes, depending on which state we happened to land in next.
Permanence. I longed for it. Initially. But then I learned to embrace my transience, hitting the ground at each new location, running the streets with my older brother, loving the freedom of parents too busy to make ends meet to worry about how their adolescent children were spending their hours.