Curriculum Spaces: Situating Educational Research, Theory, and Practice


  • Gilian Judson



This paper provides a rationale for attending to the spatial dimension in curriculum inquiry, theory, and practice. I first describe the dual constructs of space and place in order to show why the spatial dimension tends to be disregarded in curriculum studies. Next I present research demonstrating the diverse processes through which students construct spatial meanings, the multiple senses of place that result, and how spatial meaning contributes to individual and group identity formation and sense of belonging in schools. I explore also the pedagogical nature of space and place. As powerful cultural and political constructions, school spaces and places teach: they shape and are shaped by curriculum processes. This pedagogical dimension reveals the important role schools play in educating place-makers. I conclude by conceptualizing an ecological and relational approach to curriculum understanding that is situated in the unique spaces and places in which we teach and learn.