Mapping Children’s Presence in the Neighbourhood

  • Sven De Visscher


Within Gert Biesta’s framework on civic learning, public spaces are considered as the main fields where processes of civic learning can take place. Learning is always ‘in place and time’. Place matters, not only as a spatial background or set of conditions that can facilitate or hinder the learning process, but as a pedagogical process in itself. So in order to facilitate processes of civic learning, which are – as Biesta mentions – always out of order, we first need to understand the pedagogical meaning of the neighbourhood. Taking children’s here-and-now citizenship seriously influences the role of educational research and of the educational researcher. In this chapter, I build up a methodological framework for mapping children’s presence in the neighbourhood. Three questions about children’s fellow citizenship underpin this framework. How are children able to be present in their neighbourhood? How are children allowed to be present in their neighbourhood? And how are children willing to be present in their neighbourhood? An analysis of three neighbourhoods in the city of Ghent (Belgium) with these questions shows that neighbourhoods differ by the opportunities and limitations they offer in relation to civic learning. Children contest and shift the spatial and social boundaries within their neighbourhood sporadically and gradually.


Social Identity Public Space Fellow Citizen Good Neighbourhood Pedagogical Discussion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Education, Health and Social WorkUniversity College GhentGhentBelgium

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