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Learning spaces in the countryside: university students and the Harper assemblage

Robinson, P.A. (2017) Learning spaces in the countryside: university students and the Harper assemblage. Area.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/area.12379

Abstract

Using the concepts of affect and assemblage, this paper expands the boundaries of the geographies of education by shifting the student focus from the urban to the rural. Based on the findings of student interviews, it demonstrates how a multiscalar and diversely constituted network of material and non-material things (including buildings, animals and plants) coalesces with students to create affective atmospheres of learning in a specialist agri-food and land-based rural university. This learning is underpinned by a sense of attachment to historical tradition through more than a century of agricultural education on the campus, giving students a strong sense of identity in corporeality. Animals are enrolled in teaching and learning through embodied sensory engagement with their states of health, welfare and disease. Students learn both with and from their student peers, centred on a mutual interest in the science and practicality of caring for production animals and pets. This mutual learning and sharing takes place both within, and informally beyond, the geographies of the classroom. The paper draws out wider cautionary lessons for ongoing university expansions; the praxis of university education within fieldwork- and vocationally-based domains; and the role of both formal and informal assemblages of teaching and learning within the academy.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Animal Production, Welfare and Veterinary Sciences
Depositing User: Ms Kath Osborn
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2017 14:00
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2018 12:10
URI: http://hau.collections.crest.ac.uk/id/eprint/16164

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