Space and favour

5th October 2007 at 01:00

Ages 16-19

Many schools do urban fieldwork exploring issues such as spheres of influence and crime. There are other, more radical ways for pupils to learn about space, place and interaction than normal fieldwork with clipboards.

Why not dress them up in white boiler suits and take them to the town centre? Arm them with a dud CCTV camera, and get them to pan, tilt and zoom in on the public.

Invite discussion. Does CCTV make them feel like they are not trusted in certain spaces? Does it mean they feel judged? Does it help to prevent crime or just catch people? Do the public trust the people watching them? Are they being treated as individuals?

This was one of our best lessons. The pupils could think geographically about their space, on their terms. They began to survey their surroundings, intellectually and physically

Daniel Raven-Ellison is lead teacher of geography at Langtree School in Oxfordshire

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