14 SES 02 A, Dimensions of Rural/Urban Context-Oriented/Place-Based Education
In a technological world, marked by globalization and the feeling of having overcome the traditional coordinates of space and time, the proximal everyday spaces, specifically the urban ones, seems to have lost their interest for the construction of the subject's identity. However, is precisely in this spaces where most of the activities and socialization processes are taking place.
We are much accustomed to seeing and interpreting education as a personal and individual phenomenon produced and explained in terms of word-mediated interpersonal dynamics. As a result of this dominant conception, the urban space has being relegated to a secondary level, passive, as merely receiver or continent of our behaviours. Only when we started to see that, aside from this wrong assumption, urban spaces are in relation to people and, indeed, its configuration and expression seriously affect the identity, behaviour and even the existence of human beings, only then we rushed to include the urban spaces in our educational reflections.
How has being constructed this new assumption? It has been understood space as a dimension of the complex matrix of factors that shape the educational phenomenon, by drawing up specific forms of education, such as environmental education or urban education; instead of interpreting it as a constituent component of the phenomenon itself and, therefore, entitled to be considered as an inherent aspect in the educational process, resulting in a Pedagogy of urban spaces.
This change in perspective explains one line of research in our group, which aiming at the diagnosis and analysis of a series of parameters, or regularities that articulate urban spaces and proffer meanings for the subjects that experienced a customary space.
Within the above assumption this paper seeks for the interrelationships between the areas defined by three concepts: territory, education and policy action, which act as frames that connect and define a field of vital interest to both education and policy, and eventually to the wellness of communities. Thus, we are interested in showing the place that corresponds to the territory, understood as space, environment, context and situation, not only physical but also social and cultural, in which the action of social and educational policies takes place.
The objective was to determine whether subjects’ experiencing the use of a public park allows us to verify that, in essence, there is education in this space, as a result of the set of relationships that subjects experienced, with the final aim of finding significant information for the proposal of local educational policies. In this vein, we sought to verify that a park "is education not only because the activities carried out are educational, but also because it has intrinsic educational elements favouring the primary training processes”. From this perspective, this space, the park, is not only a particular physical environment, a stage for subjects’ behaviours, but also an active agent in the process of building their identities.
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