School field trips and the curriculum of public spaces
Drawing on material from an ethnographic study, I examine transformations in the nature of public spaces for children, and the school's role in producing those spaces. Space is treated as a product of social practice, not simply a frame for it. I contend that, as young children are increasingly immobilized in urban landscapes, school field trips become critical occasions for introducing them to, and framing their participation in, public spaces. I focus primarily on a field trip to an art museum in a redeveloped downtown, and then look briefly at a different type of trip, illustrated by a visit to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello.