14 SES 09 B, Place-Based and Place-Conscious Education II
In Europe children`s and young people`s geographies of lives are increasingly linked to local space and place from metropolises to other urban residential areas. Macro-level cultural and structural processes produce learning spaces which are culturally constructed. Space and place are constitutive dimensions of children`s life. (Farrugia 2014.) Moreover, living environments and learning ecosystems are changing rapidly, therefore urbanization and modernization have revised the notion of learning places. Children and young learn, for example, well-being in various sociocultural contexts like homes and schools, but also in other learning places such as neighbourhoods and streets. If the aim of the research is to understand and describe issues concerning childhood and youth, these matters has to be perceived. (Bronfenbrenner & Evans 2000; Peirson et al. 2011; Poikolainen 2013; 2014.) The public concepts of well-being are not derived from a vacuum; instead, the societal situation, political mechanisms, discourses, norms and values construct standards for the definition of well-being of children and young people. The issue at stake is about aspects at different levels, societal, physical and psychological, which limit the reasoning and action of individuals. Also socio-spatial practices differ depending on the residential area, thereby affecting space use strategies. It is a question of spatial capital, meaning socially different local residential and educational spaces, and use of those. (Brann-Barret 2011.)
The children and youth are seen in this research as active citizens, subjects and information providers. The view is more than child-centered; the measure is the child and not the parents or the family. Adult-centered research is very distant from a child-perspective approach. Recently more attention has been drawn to the knowledge produced by children themselves. This is a proof of valuation and the acceptance of subjective knowledge. It is essential to consider children as individuals with distinct, personal experiences and as members of groups in the social, cultural, economic and political arenas, where the childhood is constructed (James 2007). Studying children`s place use and space constructions in different localities draws a cross-sectional picture of spatial dimension that the children and youth use when navigating through the routes of learning society the adults try to lead them.
As Farrugia (2014) has stated interdisciplinary perspectives on space and place does reach more complete view of the phenomena in scope. Children and youth learn well-being in different contexts, also in residential areas, where they also learn ill-being. Learning does not stop at the front door of the school, it continues when leisure time starts. Combining theories of subjective well-being into learning theories brings us closer to the constituent questions of what, where and when children`s learning in general and learning of well-being should be studied. (Poikolainen 2013; Taylor 2009.) Also research methodology is in important role here. The research data was gathered in two phases. When studying how children and young people define their places photo interviews were used. Pictures tell about places and photo interview tell about spaces (Leonard & McKnight 2014). That information was used when the questionnaire of this research was designed.
The objective is to study children`s and young peoples` places and spaces for learning well-being in different residential areas. The research questions are following: i) how children and youth experience their residential area as well-being learning environment? ii) how children and youth describe and define meaningful places and spaces?
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