Space, Place and Agency in Childhood and Education

Lundie, David, Beacom, Aaron, Leather, Mark, Evans, Julie and Gibson, Kass (2017) Space, Place and Agency in Childhood and Education. In: BERA Conference 2017, Tuesday 5th September 2017 – Thursday 7th September 2017.

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This symposium brings together perspectives from geography, philosophy, alternative education and sport and exercise science to consider a sense of place and agency in education beyond the classroom. Drawing on embodied perspectives to decenter the assumptions of the classroom as enclosure which frame much educational research (Lundie 2015). In place of the enclosure as locus of methodology, the challenges of non-formal and expansive educational settings refocus educational enquiry on the intrinsic, ipsative and intersubjective dimensions of the learner in their interactions with place, peers and nature. Introducing the research programme for Space, Place and Agency in Childhood and Education at the University of St Mark and St John, Plymouth, an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Faculty of Education and Social Science and the Faculty of Sport and Health Science, the symposium will feature speakers who cross boundaries and challenge traditional dichotomies between formal, informal and non-formal education. The symposium will focus on methodological innovations which support educational research in contexts beyond the classroom, drawing upon current research projects in European youth work, disability sport education and alternative early years provision. Paper 1 – Mark Leather: More than 'activities': using a sense of place in outdoor education Paper 2 – David Lundie: More than 'methods': ipsative and interpersonal perspectives on decentering the classroom Paper 3 – Kass Gibson: More than 'murder': ethics and hunting in New Zealand reconsidered Paper 4 – Julie Evans: More than 'play': space, agency and the classroom in early years Dr Leather’s paper presents empirical evidence from an action research project to demonstrate how a combination of formal and informal pedagogy can lead to a sociocultural and historical understanding of place and enrich the learning experience when teaching sailing. Adopting a Deweyan pedagogy of place that holistically integrated research, theory and practice (Ord & Leather 2011), students completed focus group interviews, photo elicitation and written reflections, evidencing a meaningful relationship between sociocultural history of place and the activity itself. Drawing on the sport for development movement, which engages health and civic education, informal recreation and environmental education, Kass Gibson’s paper draws on mixed method qualitative research into sport (Gibson 2012) to explore students’ relationships to the culture of hunting (Gibson 2014). Bringing together indigenous ontologies with the methodological personalism refined by colleagues in this research group (Beacom & Golder 2015), this paper explores the normative, pedagogical and sustainability implications of hunting and its place in outdoor education. Exploring the relation between the ‘offered’ curriculum and the ‘received’ curriculum in early years (Rogers & Evans 2007), Dr Evans’ paper reintroduces the concept of space and enclosure as ethnographic actor in context (Lundie 2015). Drawing on myriad autoethnographic representational strategies of the young people in the setting (Pahl 1999), Evans’ ethnography seeks to enable children’s voices to represent the physical limitations they experience. This paper reframes the Reception classroom as a ‘poverty of space’, acting upon the development and socialisation of young children.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Depositing User: Ms Alice Primmer
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2017 09:17
Last Modified: 22 May 2019 11:22

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