Civic-minded Curriculum Honored by Planning Association

Civic-minded Curriculum Honored by Planning Association

Common Good Planning Center

Leonard J. Luchowski, a teacher at Mill Middle School in Williamsville, New York (Erie County) has received an award from the American Planning Association (APA) Western New York Section for a curriculum he developed and uses with 7th graders. Millville: A Study of Planning for Technology Education Students guides students in developing a simulated community taking into account all facets of civic life and responsibility. This teaching-learning activity begins with individual students drafting a community plan. The class votes on which plan to use to cooperatively create a detailed planning process. Each student builds a house with a yard through the use of computer technology. A three-dimensional simulated community is finally developed as discussions proceed about community planning.

“Using his curriculum, Len has infused high standards with relevant work for students,” says Cindy Beeley, Instructional Specialist for the Williamsville School District. “He has heightened student interest and concern about local community issues. This in turn has promoted responsible citizenship in his students.” The four- to five-week experience addresses the New York State Learning Standards for math, science, and technology. It also presents career options associated with community planning including private, corporate and governmental positions.

In nominating Luchowski’s curriculum for its award, the APA noted that “students who are fortunate enough to participate in Mr. Luchowski’s class derive a fundamental understanding of how the planning process works and a strong sense of their role as stakeholders in their community. The experiential nature of the project allows students to understand the interdisciplinary nature of planning as it is integrated with several other subjects they take in school.”

Town of Amherst planners have taken an interest in the curriculum. They have discussed the possibility of using Luchowski’s approach to teach school children about Smart Growth and “new urbanism” as alternative forms of development that might be more efficient and desirable. Introducing community planning to young people who are more likely to participate and lead future planning efforts enhances a town’s “civic infrastructure” they contend.

The curriculum has also received the Public Education Award for the Upstate New York Chapter of APA.

Related Link: Common Good Planning Center

For more information contact:

MJ Ebenhack
Common Good Planning Center
34 Meigs Street
NY 14607

Phone: 585-442-2730
Fax: 800-858-8245
Email: [email protected]

Posted May 8, 2002

Planetizen Courses logo

Planetizen Courses: Online Training in Urban Planning

Access more than 250 urban planning courses on your computer, phone, or tablet. Learn today, plan for tomorrow.

View Courses

Edmonton, Canada

Planetizen AICP Exam Prep Class logo

Planetizen AICP* Exam Prep Class

90% of students who took our class passed the exam and became AICP* certified.

View Class

image of laptop and class instructor Jeff Levine