The Child In The City Revisited: Learning Beyond The School Today

Keri Facer, Sarah M Eagle, Paul E Strauss, Wan Ching Yee, Solveig I Roth, Helen Manchester

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Paperpeer-review


‘The city is in itself an environmental education, and can be used to provide one, whether we are thinking of learning through the city, learning about the city, learning to use the city, to control the city or to change the city. Ward, (1978) p.176

In this paper we bring together over a decade of research from six different research projects in the UK and Norway that have examined learning beyond the school in order to consider the potential of the city to act as a creative resource for learning. We explore how theoretical perspectives surrounding learning in the city have developed since Colin Ward’s original challenge to educators to rethink the city as an educational resource in which young people could develop their ‘skills and sabotage’. In particular, we pay attention to how the people who live within the city act as agents to shape opportunities through which young people can develop competences and innovative skills, whether or not they recognise that agency.
The paper pays particular attention to examining the interplay between different theoretical traditions in researching learning beyond the school. It puts into dialogue critical cultural studies traditions such as those of Paul Willis (1978) and Raymond Williams (1978), new literacy studies (e.g. Pahl and Rowsell, 2011), anthropological perspectives such as the concept of Funds of Knowledge (Gonzales, et al 2005), and more recent narrative perspectives increasingly known as ‘Learning Lives’ approaches (Ecclestone et al, 2013; Erstad et al, 2009).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sep 2013
EventECER Conference: Creativity and Innovation in Educational Research - Bahçeşehir University, Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 9 Sep 201313 Sep 2013


ConferenceECER Conference: Creativity and Innovation in Educational Research


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