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Getting Smart Podcast

Jun 19, 2019

Today, Tom Vander Ark is speaking with Dr. Francisco Gaujardo! Francisco is a leading voice in bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural education and a noted expert in place-based education. Like Tom, Francisco is also an advisor to the Teton Science Schools. As a Professor of Education at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), Dr. Guajardo introduces young people to the history, anthropology, and culture of ‘place.’ With colleagues of his at UTRGV, they built the B3 Institute — a university-wide office that facilitates the process through which UTRGV becomes a bilingual, bicultural, and biliterate institution — where he serves as the Executive Director.


In today’s conversation, Tom and Francisco discuss his work and interest in place-based education; the role place should play in primary-aged kids, middle school children, and teenagers in high school; how he’d like to see children interacting with their communities; and his roles at the B3 Institute, UTRGV, and Teton Science Schools.


Listen in to learn more!


Key Takeaways:

[:14] About today’s episode.

[:51] Tom welcomes Francisco to the podcast!

[1:19] Francisco speaks about his upbringing and early education.

[1:57] About Francisco’s later education and current career.

[4:33] As a noted expert in place-based education, when did Francisco become conscious of the power of place?

[10:13] About Francisco’s role as Executive Director of the B3 Institute where he explores bilingualism, biliteracy, and biculturalism!

[12:27] Why does Francisco serve on the advisory board at Teton Science Schools?

[13:57] When Francisco thinks of primary-aged kids, what role should place play?

[14:50] What pictures come to mind when Francisco considers the role place plays with grade 4-5?

[15:36] How should high school kids be interacting with their communities?

[16:30] Where to learn more about Francisco’s work!


Mentioned in This Episode:

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV)

B3 Institute at UTRGV

Teton Science Schools

Getting Smarts Place-Based Education Series

Francisco’s Email:


For More on Place-Based Education, Check Out:
Episode 168: “Giving the Gift of Place with Teton Science Schools


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