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Learning spaces without boundaries? Territories, power and how schools regulate learning

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Abstract:

In this paper we examine the connection between space, power and pedagogical practice, taking as an example the learning studio of an all-day primary school in Berlin. In recent years, it has become part of German educational policy to promote and support the transition from traditional half-day schools to all-day schools. The all-day model is expected to offset social and educational deficits affecting schools through an individualisation of learning, a process in which educational activities are tailored to the individual and his/her needs in line with progressive educational programmes. In the course of their transitions to the all-day model, many schools have made building alterations and extensions to create new 'opened' spaces, similar to the open classroom—a large, open-plan educational space. While the opening up of educational spaces serves as a metaphor for the freedom of individual choice in terms of what, when and how learning happens, based on the pedagogical practices we observed in our sample learning studio, the production of new inequalities problematise this metaphor. Our description of pedagogical practices in the learning studio is preceded by the presentation of our theoretical framework, oriented on Theodore Schatzki's concept of social order and the video-based method, known as focused camera ethnography.

Keywords: learning culture; learning space; open education; pedagogical practices; subjectivation

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14649365.2011.542482

Affiliations: Institute of Education, Technische Universitat Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Publication date: 2011-02-01

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