- Gender-sensitive observations in public spaces as a teaching tool
- Geographica Helvetica
- Volume | Issue number
- 64 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Public spaces can be seen as arenas where gendered social roles, relations and identities are (re)produced, represented and contested. Because of their (assumed) public character - crowded, open, accessible and visible - these spaces are extremely useful as «observatories» for teaching and learning geography. This article presents and discusses 17 examples of assignments of eleven different universities in Europe, the United States and Israel in which students are encouraged to observe public spaces in order to understand the gendered use of space, interactions in space and the physical and symbolic design of public spaces, and to reflect on their observations from a gender perspective. Two different teaching styles are distinguished: semi-formal (detailed, protocolized and object-oriented) and informal (open, relational and subject-oriented). These differences in teaching styles are argued to reflect differences in academic cultures between countries and between disciplinary paradigms. Keywords: fieldwork, teaching styles, gender, public spaces, observations.
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