Race and the geographies of education spaces: Walking with PGCE students to examine lived experiences of race and racism in London

Education is embodied and affective. Those who work and study in education institutions not only
shape, and are shaped, by curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment, but also the spaces and places in
which they teach and/or study. Geography is key to better understanding how education spaces are
(re)produced and experienced, and considering how we can co-create more just tomorrows in, and
through, education. Through walking with Post Certificate in Education (PGCE) students, this project
sought to examine students embodied experiences of race and racism as they moved in, and
between, different education spaces in London. The unique positionality of PGCE students is of
critical importance, as they move between a university and schools, but also as they navigate the
complexities of holding the dual identity of student and educator. Walking methods were employed
as walking is part of everyday life – it connects people, landscapes and places (Horton et al., 2014).
Walking is social practice and a sensuous experience and can be deeply affective as people ‘meet’
with their (fond or otherwise) memories (Elkin, 2017), or what de Certeau (1988) describes of the
‘ghosts’ of a place. This paper reflects on emerging findings of the project, including the importance
of educators asking ‘who are our ITE students?’ as well as considering the value of colleagues with
diverse methodological and disciplinary interests drawing on their situated knowledges(Haraway,
1988) to examine geographies of education spaces.

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