Special Species of Space: making room for Geography within Education an Inter-disciplinary conceptual Exploration.
Quilty, Aideen (2010) Special Species of Space: making room for Geography within Education an Inter-disciplinary conceptual Exploration. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.
It is my assertion that there is an under-conceptualising of geography within education, the absence of a sustained acknowledgement and understanding of geography as it relates to, and impacts upon, education theory and philosophy. This thesis sets out to challenge this position by attempting to imagine further what a disciplinary fusion of geography and education might look like, how it might be conceived form an Irish sensibility. It asks what education geographies might emerge from this deliberate investigation, an exploration undertaken as an educationalist through a series of conversations with geography’s ideas and concepts, its authors and practitioners. This thesis is the result of the insights and conclusions that emerged from this interrogative process. Throughout, therefore, I present the fruits of this exchange through what I call ‘Geographies of Education.’ The main proposition of this thesis is that these geographies offer us a way to look at, and interrogate, education. A central aim of these geographies, therefore, is to provide a new lens, a way of generating new, and interrogating familiar, questions and issues. Developing a Geography of Education interrogative tool-kit can, I propose, help us interrogate, re-imagine and reassess existing education knowledge and theory. I want, and believe we need, to investigate our educational spaces because they are powerful, because they do actually matter for people, for leaning, for the production of knowledge, and they impact on how people feel. Reflecting an Irish educational landscape, through these education geographies I hope that our understanding of the multiplicity of educational contexts, of inclusions and exclusions, can be stretched and enhanced as we come to see, know and understand better these Geographies of Education, these ‘special species of education space.’
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