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ED30497: Place and space in schooling and education

[Page last updated: 05 August 2021]

Academic Year: 2021/2
Owning Department/School: Department of Education
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Semester 2
Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Assessment Detail:
  • 3000 word assignment (CW 100%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Requisites: Before taking this module you are advised to take ED10346 AND take ED20437 AND take ED20442
Aims: The aim of this unit is to consider the role of place and space in shaping educational concerns for children and young people from a macro, meso and micro perspective. 'Education' in this context will concern pre-school, primary and secondary education and higher education. This is in order to equip students with a critical appreciation of how spatial theorising forms a key tool in analysing the politics of education and schooling.

Learning Outcomes: After successfully completing this unit students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of how concepts of place and space shape the conception, production, and lived experience of education for children and young people. Students will be able to critically evaluate the role of education policy in spatialising learning (e.g. through curriculum, assessment, grouping practices, admissions policies, and school design). Students will critically evaluate the role of spatial inclusion/exclusion in social inclusion/exclusion and learning for children and young people. Students will consider the importance of place and space in informing equality of opportunities. Students will be able to evaluate and critique original research in an interdisciplinary way (e.g. across the disciplines of sociology, psychology, human geography and social and educational policy). Students will demonstrate a critical appreciation for spatial/ geographical methods and/or perspectives to solve an educational problem.

* Ability to critically analyse social/educational policy as to how it shapes pedagogy and learning in different contexts (TFA)
* Ability to evaluate the design and utilisation of school spaces so as to promote social inclusion and educational equality(TF)
* Ability to select, summarise and synthesise written information from multiple sources [T/F/A]
* Ability to develop rigorous arguments through precise use of concepts and models [T/F/A]
* Ability to select and use appropriate ideas to produce a coherent response to a pre-set activity [T/F/A]
* Comprehensive and scholarly written communication (assessed essay) [T/F/A]
* To critically evaluate a range of methodologies appropriate for exploring education spatially [T/F/A]

Content: The unit will apply spatial perspectives to educational concerns at a macro, meso and micro level. This nested approach will emphasise the reciprocal co-construction of spatial theorising upon the different levels of analysis around the child
Macro level: (national and cross-national level structures and their products)
* The unequal division of capital/ resources across space
* Political regimes and media representations
* Educational/ Social Policy:
Meso level: (the settings around the child including the key social actors which channel and transform the operation of power through structures)
* Pedagogy:
* Nation and Neighbourhood:
* Inequalities in Educational trajectories:
Micro level: (the immediate experiential level of the child including their agency to act upon structural forces)
* Social/spatial inclusion and learning inequalities;.
* original research that explores children's spatial agency and engagement with educational institutions
* Children's perspectives of geographical mobility and educational concerns.
Researching the interaction of these spatial levels of analysis students will be introduced to a range of innovative methodologies used in the study of place/space and education from a macro and micro perspectives (e.g. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Photo elicitation, Mapping school and neighbourhood).

Programme availability:

ED30497 is a Generally Available Unit which is available to all students of the University (subject to the usual constraints) to take either as a Director of Studies approved option within their programme of study or as an 'extra' unit which does not count towards a final award.

ED30497 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Education
  • UHED-AFB12 : BA(Hons) Education with Psychology (Year 3)
  • UHED-AKB12 : BA(Hons) Education with Psychology with Professional Placement (Year 4)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2021/22 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2022/23 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2021/22.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.