‘It’s part of our community, where we live’: Urban heritage and children’s sense of place.

Grimshaw, Lucy and Mates, Lewis (2021) ‘It’s part of our community, where we live’: Urban heritage and children’s sense of place. Urban Studies. ISSN 0042-0980 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/00420980211019597


The literature on a ‘sense of place’ often sidelines the voices of children. Consequently, little is known about how children can be encouraged to develop a sense of place. This matters because a sense of place involves feelings of belonging and attachment, and can contribute to children’s wellbeing and identity. Informed by the research of Bartos and Severcan, we deploy data from a qualitative research project in a primary school in a former coalfield area in the north-east of England to argue that children’s experiences of learning about their urban local history and heritage can help to develop their sense of place. Placing children’s voices centrally in our research, we explore how they engage with learning about local mining history, and the impact of place-based pedagogy. Emphasising the possibilities and importance of their deep involvement with their urban heritage, we show, firstly, the ways in which children’s sense of place is strengthened when they develop a feeling of ownership over their own history. Secondly, we explore how children develop a sense of place through engaging their emotions and physicality, and, thirdly, their senses. We conclude that learning about local history through place-based pedagogy allows children to create and interpret historical events and develop a sense of place. Taking ownership of their history makes the children active participants in telling the story of their place. Children can then develop new ways of seeing themselves in places, as they make connections between the past, present and future.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: We received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (Ref. OH-15-05305) to carry out this research. See our ‘Making Heritage Matter’ website at https://teachingmininghistory.wordpress.com/.
Uncontrolled Keywords: children, emotions and senses, sense of place, urban heritage
Subjects: L300 Sociology
L500 Social Work
L700 Human and Social Geography
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 07 May 2021 11:41
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2021 10:45
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/46114

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