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Urban Renewal from the Inside Out: Spatial and Critical Literacies in a Low Socioeconomic School Community


Comber, B and Nixon, H and Ashmore, L and Loo, S and Cook, J, Urban Renewal from the Inside Out: Spatial and Critical Literacies in a Low Socioeconomic School Community , Mind, Culture and Activity , 13, (3) pp. 228-246. ISSN 1074-9039 (2006) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1207/s15327884mca1303-5


This article focuses on how teachers worked to build a meaningful curriculum around changes to a neighborhood and school grounds in a precinct listed for urban renewal. Drawing on a long-term relationship with the principal and one teacher, the researchers planned and designed a collaborative project to involve children as active participants in the redevelopment process, negotiating and redesigning an area between the preschool and the school. The research investigated spatial literacies, that is, ways of thinking about and representing the production of spaces, and critical literacies, in this instance how young people might have a say in remaking part of their school grounds. Data included videotapes of key events, interviews, and an archive of the elementary students' artifacts experimenting with spatial literacies. The project builds on the insights of community members and researchers working for social justice in high-poverty areas internationally that indicate the importance of education, local action, family, and youth involvement in building sustainable and equitable communities.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:education, architecture, spatial literacy, belonging, community
Research Division:Built Environment and Design
Research Group:Architecture
Research Field:Architectural design
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in built environment and design
UTAS Author:Loo, S (Professor Stephen Loo)
ID Code:61446
Year Published:2006
Deposited By:Architecture
Deposited On:2010-03-03
Last Modified:2015-07-31
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