Flow of History
Each year the Foundation sponsors a workshop for elementary school teachers on place-based education. Research has shown that young children benefit from having a connection to the places where they’re growing up and Grafton is a perfect location for teachers to investigate history and learn place-based educational techniques.
Grafton has an active historical society and the town has a treasure throve of records. Plus, it is a walkable area where teachers can play the role of observer, data collector, ethnographer, historian, and storyteller. It is possible to explore economics, history, geography, government, and culture, all in one place.
The story of Grafton’s history could be the story of just about any town in New England.
In a recent workshop, teachers researched the 11 small schoolhouses that once existed in the area. Through town records and old photographs, they recreated the stories of students who attended those schools. These are skills they will bring back to their communities and classrooms, showing students how to unlock important narratives that strengthen bonds to a place and connections to their heritage.
There has never been a more important time for place-based education as it gets students out in the community, learning its history, working with people, solving problems, and strengthening bonds.