Everyday Geographies


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Young People's Geographies Starter Document
November 2006

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Everyday Geographies

  1. 1. Everyday Geographies - Young People’s Geographies:Young people participate in their own lived geographies. On a day to day basis they arepart of different social groups, they interact simultaneously with others at both a locallevel (friends, family) and at a global level (via the internet), they navigate very complexnetworks of participation from informal social groups (friends, school groups, sharedsocial activities) to more organised social activities ( such as clubs, sport and music)and formalised group activities especially in school. In addition their access to spacesand places are enabled and/ or hindered by a range of factors and influences such asparents, financial considerations, age group, feelings of safety, identification withdifferent groups, personal interests etc..The aim of this project is to begin to consider how to utilise pupils’ lived geographies togive them access to a relevant and more ‘owned’ experience in school geography. Wewant to consider: 1. What do we mean by pupils’ geographies within the context of secondary schools? 2. How can such geographies form part of the school geography curriculum? 3. What might be the pedagogies that support pupils’ understanding of their own geographies? 4. In what ways might such an understanding shape and influence pupils understanding of other geography discourses? 5. How can teachers access such discourses to inform their geography teaching in secondary schools?Through exploring such issues we hope to work towards the development of anappropriate pedagogy that will enable us to close this perceived gap between pupils’lived geographies, school geography and academic geography.The Strategy:Part of the current debate about the state of secondary school geography is the notionthat there is an ever-increasing divide between school geography, as embodied in theGNC and the many geographies that occupy academic researchers. Youth geographies,young peoples’ geographies and children’s geographies are not new to academicresearch yet mainly feature within the school context as part of a constructivist pedagogywhere building on pupils existing frameworks of knowledge and understanding is used tosupport pupils’ access to the school curriculum, however that may be interpreted.Bridging the divide between school geography, academic geography and pupils livedgeographies is likely to require conversation between each of the ‘interest group’ in orderto better understand each others’ perspectives. In this respect, pupils’ voices, those oftheir teachers and those of researchers in the field of young peoples geographies have aunique contribution to make to the development of this projectIn order to achieve the aim of the project and address the questions identified above it isexpected that, in some way, the voices of each will be available and will be used toshape and inform any developments that take place along the way