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Edited by Andrea I. Frank and Artur da Rosa Pires

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Andrea I. Frank and Artur da Rosa Pires

This chapter elaborates on the book’s rationale, aims and objectives to advance the dialogue on contemporary challenges to planning education and to explore prevailing trends and arguably transformational changes in spatial planning and its education. The context and nature of the education for urban and regional planning is reviewed as well as the manifold external factors and increasing complexities of planning tasks at the start of the 21st century. It is argued that emerging contemporary societal, demographic and environmental conditions posit ever more wicked and complex challenges which require planners to embrace novel skills, boundary-spanning knowledges and attitudes in addressing them. As such there is an urgent need for substantial changes in programme content, focus and requisite pedagogical approaches. Going beyond a mere compilation of teaching case studies the book offers also insights and viewpoints from prominent educationalist on postmodern pedagogical concepts to contextualise global innovation trends in the field of spatial planning. The book’s contributions are clustered into four themed sections: Pedagogical Debates; Teaching and Learning In, For and With Community; Developing Classroom-based New Competencies; Further Education and Life-long capacity building which are further elaborated on in this chapter. In addition, brief summaries for each contribution and its key points are offered while contextualizing the emerging transformative and transformational changes for and in education more broadly and in planning education, specifically. The chapter closes with a call for valuing new learning landscapes for both planning and educational approaches and proposing and cherishing the development of new pathways to continue the dialogue initiated with the book.

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Terry Lamb and Goran Vodicka

Providing an educational and pedagogical contextualisation this chapter argues that the far-reaching technological, economic, political, cultural, social, spatial and demographic changes that have escalated on a global level in recent decades call for radically new pedagogies. Such pedagogies, referred to here as critical postmodern pedagogies, must be able to respond to the complexities and erratic shifts of the world, whilst also addressing the power structures that are the legacy of modernity. The chapter explores such pedagogies in the context of education for urban and spatial planners, a field which is particularly affected by such accelerating global shifts. Drawing on the contributions by planning educators and scholars in the book, a number of elements of critical postmodern pedagogical practice are identified and critiqued: learning-centred learning and critical learner autonomy; boundary crossing and participatory practice, including methodologies; and the centrality of ethics in urban and spatial planning pedagogies. The chapter concludes with an acknowledgement of the tensions within higher education that can constrain such pedagogies and that need to be wrestled with constantly. It nevertheless recognises that urban and spatial planning education can offer a “pedagogy of hope”, which, rather than reinforcing the status quo, has the potential to be a space of resistance and transformation.

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Ronald Barnett

Urban, regional or spatial planning is a contentious task with different stakeholders pursuing different aims and having different values. Students studying for a degree in spatial planning therefore should be given opportunities to experience multidimensional and multidiscursive situations to enable them to learn to work with the openendedness that is entailed in planning for an unknown future. The author suggests that the university itself with its local, national and international linkages, and its analogue and digital presence represents a cameo for the challenges of planning in the 21st century. As such planning the university – which is always in the making - is an undervalued but most suitable case and resource for planning educators.

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Ayse Yonder, Mercedes Narciso and Juan Camilo Osorio

Preparing students for practice is a key challenge in planning education. Most graduate planning programmes in the US have a studio requirement, but questions remain on how to define, incorporate, and assess learning outcomes. Since most studio projects involve working with a client, there is also the issue of how community engagement takes place and impacts partner communities. Within the current political context, it is critical for planning programmes to work collaboratively with community groups to build capacity, prepare for impacts of climate change, and link to social and environmental justice movements. This paper explores the challenges and benefits of a first-semester studio that works with a community partner as client using the case study of Pratt Institute’s graduate planning programme. Following a brief review of literature and description of Pratt’s community-oriented pedagogy, the effectiveness of the course is considered from both the students’ and community clients’ perspectives.

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Rachel Kallus

This paper explores the potentials and challenges of community-engaged professional education in an ethno-nationally contested city. It provides a reflective note on challenges of shared learning with underserved communities in conflicted urban arenas. Community-engaged learning provides opportunities for students to explore professional practice in meaningful learning about others, as well as about themselves. As agents of the academia and future professionals, students enrich the connection between society, knowledge and context. But, as students mobilize change in less privileged communities, they are also being changed; they undergo an identity formation that often confronts their professional with their personal identities and forces them to re-think their place in society. The paper joins a search for new venues for teaching and learning; indicating the return of the academia to its traditional social role as a promoter of democratic values and civic engagement. It offers lessons learned from the instructor’s point of view, based on a critical perspective on the course and its evolution over ten years. It reviews the course, its aims, leading principles, structure and course of action. It explores the reflective approach adopted to allow students to critically rethink their positionality and reconsiders the formation of their multiple identities. In encountering challenges and limitations, it points to a basic dilemma inherent in the course, between engagement and activism, i.e., between critique and dissidence.

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Elsa Vivant

This chapter presents a pedagogical experiment with master’s students in urban planning. The originality of this workshop was that students worked with patients with mental illness in order to plan and relocate a mental health institution. This was sponsored by a Parisian psychiatric hospital that wanted to reorganize its activities in the city, while contributing to the social inclusion and empowerment of its patients. After presenting the different stages of the workshop, this chapter focuses on an analysis of the conditions and difficulties of this innovative and inclusive approach. The experiment raised several issues related to inclusion and dignity through planning practices and the education of future town planners. This afforded new understandings and a deeper appreciation of the challenges of participatory planning, by giving a voice to those who never speak. The whole process was enriching for all concerned, in terms of learning from others and from themselves. It also enhanced the learning opportunities for students, since they were compelled to reflect deeply on the complexities of standardised planning principles.

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Camila D’Ottaviano and João Farias Rovati

Exploring recent actions at the universities of Porto Alegre and São Paulo, this chapter analyses current advances and difficulties of community outreach in Brazil. The objective is to sustain the debate about the paths of community outreach and, especially, about its potential in the field of urban planning and urban studies. It is argued that, by questioning consolidated routines and proposing new pedagogical approaches, outreach actions reveal alternative paths to planning practice and experiment with innovative tools for urban planners’ training as a profession capable of acting from a sensible understanding of reality. It also proposes the defence of the public dimension of community outreach, as an opportunity to "think and act together", particularly at a time of crisis for Brazilian public universities.

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Gavan Rafferty, Grazia Concilio, José Carlos Mota, Fernando Nogueira, Emma Puerari and Louise O’Kane

Designing pedagogical methods to teach community engagement and participation to spatial planning students at university remains challenging, particularly given the diverse range of stakeholders and perspectives that now exist in contemporary society. Framing the development of innovative pedagogies as one aspect of the broader ‘third mission’ of universities, i.e., enhancing civic engagement and social impact, the chapter draws together reflections from the Community Participation in Planning (CPiP) project on ways to co-design a pedagogy that nurtures cross-sectoral and transnational learning for co-learning inclusive participation practices in planning. The contribution explores how ‘learning in action’, through live real-world projects, can enrich student learning and move beyond didactic teaching styles to offer an innovative pedagogy that nurtures knowledge co-production. The conclusions offer insights on: a) the implementation challenges to teaching participation in planning courses, b) differences in interpretations of participation by comparing multiple cultural contexts, and c) how the spatial planning discipline can combine teaching and research with civic engagement/social impact.

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Teresa Calix

This contribution describes an evolving educational framework to establish a critical learning space to enable future architects to engage in spatial (urban) planning in the context of Portuguese contemporary society. Projecto 5 is a final year design studio in the University of Porto’s Integrated Master’s in Architecture. It is a long-established course, with its origins dating back to the late 1990s, and aims to provide planning education within the scope of an architecture programme. As such it links architectural design and urbanism through the provision of a broader and more comprehensive understanding of urban reality and change. After setting out the foundational and guiding educational principles of the course, the current educational framework is introduced. This framework accommodates recently introduced changes in both content and pedagogical practices as a response to an evolving historical context. Throughout the two decades long life-span of Projecto 5, major changes took place in Portuguese society and in the dominant (national) perceptions of the role of planning, as well as in the relevant institutional framework. Coupled with the recognition of a more complex landscape of architectural and planning approaches and broader educational requirements, the new framework seeks to enable students to develop their own research and communication processes, preparing them for the development of both, strategies for the present and future needs of society, and actions better suited to intervene in urban space.