Place-based Education

Place-based education is making use of what is local – local history, local environment, local culture, local economy. It is situated in places to which people have a special relationship – therefore preferably in the students’ home environment.
By acquiring knowledge about the history of one’s own region and connecting it to a specific place, the relationship between human being and environment is strengthened. At the same time historical and social changes are no more only abstract facts – history is given a face.A method Antikomplex makes use of is comparing photographs of the historical site to the present day situation.

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Educational Objectives
This method raises
awareness of the connection between past and presence and visualizes the influence of human activities on its environment.
By examining this natural or built environment looking at the changing land use, at the change of the nature as well as at the growth or decline of industry and settlement this
interdisciplinary method includes fields of (local) history, natural as well as social sciences, environmental education and geography.
This contributes to developing abilities to
set facts and developments into relation and integrate them into a broader context.
Furthermore this method encourages
teamwork, communication and understanding. Especially the transgenerational collaboration and mutual appreciation will be enhanced. Elderly people have a tremendous amount of personal experiences, memories, but also historical knowledge and can hence supply information and help to keep history alive. At the same time, the younger generation has the ability to see the past in a more neutral, less emotionally attached way and thus to solve conflicts and come to terms with traumata of the past.

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How to work on it:

  1. collecting historic photographs of the region– e.g. in archives, museums, photo albums of relatives– Keep in mind the copyright!
  1. digitalize the photographs
    – this makes it more easy to work on the pictures and protects the antique photographs
    – scan resolution of at least 600dpi
    – scan in color
  2. Field research: locate the places shown in the photographs
    – can be hard work as the place might today look much different
    – be careful not to trespass private property, ask for admission to photograph this site
  3. Take new photographs
    – … of the present day site shown on the historical photographs
    – when taking the photographs, exact position should be logged
    – identify the orientation of the picture (angle, similar light conditions, horizon and topography, objects should have the same size as on the original photograph)
    – highest resolution possible
  4. Combine old and new pictures– … in order to make them comparable– This can be in any form (static, dynamic, video, etc.)
  1. collect information about the site
    – … in order to create subtitles
    – (archive material, interviews, oral history recordings)
    – informal learning of decision making and planning process
    – should only include what is visually present

Methods for working with pictures:


  • Stenciling
    Create a stencil of the silhouettes of the objects on the old/new picture, but it on the counterpart and trace the outlines to visualize the change
  • Interviewing” the picture
    One group poses questions to the picture, the other group tries to answers them from the perspective of the picture
  • Guessing game”
    pretend you don’t know which picture is the old and which the new one. Based on your knowledge on historical or social events and changes, debate which picture was taken in which time.’
  • Writing meditation”
    One person writes his/her impression on a sheet of paper. The next person comments on it and/or poses his/her impression. The sheet is given around to every participant. This happens without speaking.
  • lagged” viewing
    Only a details/quarters of the picture are shown and discussed. Step by step the whole picture will be acquired.
  • Fortunetelling”
    – Looking at the historical photograph, draw a picture of how the site probably looks like today taking into consideration your knowledge of historical events and changes
    – Draw a picture of how the same site could look in a few years

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