Geographies of Childhood and Education

This module addresses the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of the geographies of childhood and education. It examines children and young people’s everyday lives and educational experiences in the context of urban, social, cultural and environmental change. Together, the related sub-disciplines of Children’s Geographies and Geographies of Education have bought increased academic and policy attention to the importance of understanding children and young people’s everyday lives.

The module will draw on contemporary research projects, literature and academic and policy debates about the socio-spatial lives of children and the educational spaces in which they spend much of their lives. It will also assess the ways in which, in turn, geographical research on education relates with the teaching of geography and children’s learning about spatial skills in the classroom. Importantly the module will address the diversity of childhood experiences, offering distinctions between and within majority and minority worlds. Thinking geographically about children and young people’s use of environment, education, positionality, culture, participation, agency and citizenship is key to exploring the social constructions of childhood.

By the end of the module you will be able to:

  • Discuss the significance of geography for understanding the everyday lives of children and young people, and their educational experiences.
  • Evaluate and narrate how understandings and experiences of childhood differ across historical and geographical contexts.
  • Demonstrate a critical appreciation of the diversity of environments in which children learn (including but beyond ‘school’).
  • Apply theoretical and methodological understandings of Children’s Geographies and Geographies of Education in their analyses of space and place.