As part of my Phd in human geography, I am currently looking at how education as a space can influence young people’s experiences and outcomes. A principle part of human geography is social geography – mainly the interactions across and inside social groups, within the context of space and the ‘spatial expression of social processes’. Of course, this includes many formal educational spaces such as schools, colleges, universities, but also informal spaces such as the home and youth clubs.
Educational geographies appear to add a certain richness to thinking about life chances. I see this as almost a deeper consideration of social policy and sociological analysis. Much can be exchanged and influenced within a space. Common examples are the use of social networks (capital) and the reproduction of inequalities, as well as the formation of different identities which are constantly being tweaked and refined. It is useful to consider how young people interact with these different spaces -between school and getting home and how they interpret other educational experiences such as in summer camps and staying with grandparents even. For me, this raises many questions when thinking about research. Do these different nuances improve their understanding of risk and responsibilities? How well does educational policy understand these different influences? How can research design effectively cover these different environments, which can also be virtual spaces? This is something I will be blogging about as I go on.