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What is PEC?

Park for Every Classroom is a partnership between the National Park Service and Vermont-based outdoor-education non-profit Shelburne Farms that aims to connect national parks across the nation to local classrooms and community partners through the creation of professional development opportunities for teachers focused on equity-centered climate change education. 

PEC Teams from schools, national parks and community organizations work together to build stewardship through education by:

  • Co-creating and co-facilitating professional learning opportunities for educators

  • Developing healthy communities of learning, inquiry, and practice that nurture sharing of expertise, resources, and support

  • Practicing curriculum-based innovations focused on emerging challenges, including exploring, implementing, and continually adapting the PEC Aspirational Principles (See below)

  • Planning and working together to make a direct impact in our parks and communities

PEC Aspirational Principles:

Learning is grounded in the multiple attributes of a particular place including the values of local residents, natural landscape and resources, cultural heritage and resources, social dynamics, and political and economic systems. Learning moves from local to global as children mature.

1. Grounded in Place

Students engage with teachers and partners in experiential projects that make the world a better place by addressing authentic, relevant, community stakeholder-identified issues, problems, and opportunities in support of healthy and sustainable communities, including ecological health, social justice, cultural vibrancy, and economic vitality.

2. Real

Teachers and community partners give students meaningful roles in project planning, decision-making, implementation, and evaluation, thereby building agency in their learning to follow their curiosities and passions while developing self-efficacy and life-long skills.

3. Empowering

Multi-directional collaboration between students, teachers and community partners sets the direction of the learning experience. Students build relationships, and cultivates cultural competency through deepening appreciation for the diverse talents, potential, and perspectives of others.

4. Collaborative

The co-planned and co-taught curriculum is an exploratory and project-based extension of classroom learning, taking place across multiple disciplines, and instilled through direct experience and reflective practices.

5. Integrated

Learning experiences are critical and comparative in nature; they are learner-centered, using inquiry to cultivate systems thinking, enduring understanding, and skills in content and practices that are aligned with state and national learning standards.

6. Rigorous

An environment that promotes fairness, justice, and the absence of avoidable, unfair, or remediable differences among groups of people. (NRPA Equity Language Guide)

7. Equitable

Our Strategies for Success

 Parks work with teachers and community partners to offer professional development and immersion experiences for educators, exploring park and community resources, and generating ideas for how the park can be used as an extension of the classroom.


Parks and community partners working with teachers to co-develop curriculum and learning experiences for students at the park.


Parks and community partners learning from teachers how to improve their education and interpretation programs.


PEC teams building a community of learning, inquiry, and practice (CLIP) to provide mutual support and share lessons learned, embracing a growth mindset. As a CLIP, we want to encourage connections and a group spirit that embrace the values outlined by George Coruos' The Innovators Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity.

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