Technology, Knowledge and Learning

, Volume 18, Issue 1–2, pp 65–93 | Cite as

Counter-Mapping the Neighborhood on Bicycles: Mobilizing Youth to Reimagine the City

Article

Abstract

Personal mobility is a mundane characteristic of daily life. However, mobility is rarely considered an opportunity for learning in the learning sciences, and is almost never leveraged as relevant, experiential material for teaching. This article describes a social design experiment for spatial justice that focused on changes in the personal mobility of six non-driving, African-American teenagers, who participated in an afterschool bicycle building and riding workshop located in a mid-south city. Our study was designed to teach spatial literacy practices essential for counter-mapping—a discursive practice in which youth used tools similar to those of professional planners to “take place” in the future of their neighborhoods. Using conversation and multimodal discourse analyses with video records, GPS track data, and interactive maps authored by youth, we show how participants in our study had new experiences of mobility in the city, developed technically-articulate criticisms of the built environment in their neighborhoods, and imagined new forms of mobility and activity for the future.

Keywords

Mobility Youth Urban neighborhoods Spatial literacy Counter-mapping Bicycles Geospatial technology Social design experiment for spatial justice Thirdspace Ground truth Analysis of personal time geography Desire layers 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Teaching and LearningVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA

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