- Oct 2015
We argue that by participating in theseactivities, youth began to understand real and abstracted urban space differently, whichafforded new opportunities for imagining and showing their futures within that space
Because of my background and areas of interest, I understand these young people to be learning primarily about identity and agency. Specifically, locating oneself in space and understanding movements within the space. I am very interested in the new opportunities for imagining and engaging with futures in a space, and I think the identity work is especially crucial for that.
We thought of these activities as a form of ground truthing,5asking youth tocompare their on-the-ground experience with what was shown on a map, and encouragingthem to consider how changes to the map could better support their needs or interests.
I see learning developing through this coordination of the mobile experience and looking at the map, where both are methods or tools for exploring the same space with very different (but not contrasting) affordances.
While ground truthing involved critical reflectionon the adequacy of urban infrastructure for bicycling, the analysis of personal time geog-raphy invited stories about adolescent life and how acquiring a bicycle might create newopportunities for activity.
Learning that mobility does influence critical reflection.
Questioning the veracity or completeness of official maps and mapping tools, bycomparison with what youth perceived or experienced on a daily basis, contributed toemerging practices of counter-mapping as our study progressed.
The kids learn that there are faults in the systems they often rely on, and learn to recognize hints that may lead them to doubt their efficacy and accuracy
In contrast, highly critical, past time accounts of how the city neglected or even harmedWoodbridge (e.g., building an interstate highway through residential and commercialspaces) had little uptake in planning processes that were oriented towards analysis ofexisting conditions for future development.
This is something that needed to be learned. You cannot create a solution if you do not know the context of the problem.
Studies of how youthperceivespace are an important part of the children’s geographyliterature. These studies have been concerned with issues of young people’s environmentalexperience and mobility, looking at how and where young people spend their time acrossthe course of a typical day and what attributes of the geography are important to youth
Critical thinking skills. Looking at how children percieve themselves in their given environment and then having them come up with what attributed is important to them and their future. I think more of this is needed in schools
were interleaved with bike building
Okay, maybe my point above is not entirely valid :-(
Cecil worked with us for three major reasons. First, he hoped to learn new and betterways of teaching Workshop patrons how to read maps and choose appropriate routes forcycling before leaving home. Second, he hoped to see infrastructural changes in theneighborhood that would support youth on bikes, and he knew about our study ofWoodbridge planning and ongoing relations with city planners. Third, Cecil wanted toknow if his patrons were actually riding their bicycles once they took them home.Our purpose was to complement the Workshop by designing activities that would inviteyouth to participate in practices of counter-mapping, and to engage with new forms ofspatial literacy as they thought about how their personal mobility was supported orimpeded by the infrastructure of urban space.
I think it is really interesting that the meetings are held in the shop, despite the fact that building bikes is not the activity currently in question. Still, I'm sure it afforded great learning opportunities for the kids to explore other facets of this domain (even the mechanics of the construction of bikes), but also, to understand how many different aspects of the mobility question are linked together... it gives them an opportunity to explore how the efforts of this one bike shop in their neighborhood are intrinsically linked to planning at city hall, and that's a very powerful learning setting.
collecting information about community assets,•making maps or new map layers that reflect these assets and aspects of personal use ormobility, and•using these maps to make and justify claims for use and development of assets in thefuture.
Learning about society. Learning how to explore and examine a context. Learning how to improve development.
Carissa described three bikelanes she hoped the city would build
Definitely something that is being learned -- the structures we see in and around the city are designed by someone, they aren't some received edict from God. Through this presentation, students learn that they can have a voice in how these things come about as well.
using gears to climb hills
Physics, mechanics, landmarks...
William’s more contemplative comparison ofstreets that were relatively safe and quiet, but slow for cycling because of ‘‘weaving in andout,’’ with streets that were straighter and faster for riding but more dangerous because oftraffic
Learning about limitations and affordances of the path as a resource for rides
Ahead was an intersection with a green light and separated turn lanes
This experience probably helped on the learning of traffic signals. Not the best way.
a Workshop in which youth learned tobuild bicycles out of discarded or donated materials
Learning mechanics, reusing-recycling, and alternative economic structures
Weeks 1 & 2:Youth told stories of their neighborhood activities, alternating betweenhand-drawn and computer maps (Google MapsTM) of the surrounding area;•Weeks 3 & 5:Youth used GarminTMhandheld GPS devices both to draw on thesurface of the city (e.g., Carissa and Leah drew the word ‘‘LOVE’’ over a 5-block areathat included their homes; see Lauriault and Wood2009) and to complete aneighborhood geo-cache concerning the spatial history of buildings and parks in theWoodbridge neighborhood;•Week 4:Youth compared commercial maps of the neighborhood with their experienceswhile biking from Woodbridge to a downtown park (a safety ride, described below),while adults recorded the activity using GoProTMhead cameras;•Weeks 3 & 4:Youth kept a written time-diary while carrying a GPS data logger(TrackstickTM) to record personal mobility over two five-day periods, before and afterbuilding a bicycle, and they then analyzed personal time geography visible in thesetracks (described below); and•Week 5:Youth used internet mapping tools in Google MapsTMand Google EarthTMtobuild and present map layers of desired attributes (e.g., Carissa’s desire layers, used toillustrate counter-mapping earlier in this paper).
Learning to use five different tech products/services
youth participants were consistent with Harvey’s (2008) observation that in making orimagining the city, we are also making and imagining ourselves
This is the connection to the identity discussion in other comments here, and what we have been talking about all semester.
As they came tounderstand technologies for mapping more fully, they also began to question what wasshown (and not shown) on maps.
being critical consumers of technology is important for students. This is an important learning opportunity.
As we expected, the safety ride led to a critical reflection onthe extent to which maps supported riding, but also to a discussion of whether the city, itsroads, and cultural amenities were arranged in space to support mobility and access foryouth on bicycles
Reflection here is an important part of the learning process conceptualized.
We were guided in the study by Soja’s (2010) concept of ‘‘spatial justice’’ as a way tointervene in the spatial relationship youth had with their neighborhoods, so that they mightimagine new, more equitable possibilities for that geography
"Spatial justice" seems like a theory for learning here.
hese residents learned totalk over the surface of maps in ways that closely matched the spatial thinking andrelevancies of professional planners
In order to participate, there is a barrier to entry: your spatial reasoning must match those of the professional planners.
Potentially, youth counter-mapping could have conse-quences both for ‘‘on the move’’ experience and for official versions of city neighborhoods
Is this saying that counter-mapping influences the professional vision of urban space, but also the experiential setting for those who live there?
Hart demonstrated that children’s mobility was self-directed in a rural com-munity, and they learned about their environment by traveling through and negotiating howthey would use it together.
Interesting connection. Students learn through and for self mobility through co-construction.
Second, spatial literacy is an important component of civic engagementsince many democratic processes of urban development rely on representations of spaceand residents’ sustained reflection on experiences within lived spaces.
Civic engagement requires spatial literacy. I'm interested in how this continues!
Youth were given a map with a destination and resting place labeled (waypoints in Fig.2)during a bicycle safety tutorial and before setting out together on bikes. In the safetytutorial given by Cecil, the ride had rules and consequences, by analogy to a ‘‘final exam.’
Can you imagine if this was a pencil and paper "final exam"? Would that even prove anything?
we asked adolescents to carry GPS tracking devices withthem for 2 weeks,
This is great, because it encourages learning to be done outside of the space of the workshop. I like this idea because it can soften the border between "school" and real life, it doesn't seem like homework, it's much more natural, so this type of activity (if implemented in a school) could help kids see learning as something that can happen every day and everywhere
asking youth tocompare their on-the-ground experience with what was shown on a map, and encouragingthem to consider how changes to the map could better support their needs or interests.
The style of learning is so practical-not theoretical. The kids can see how what they are learning can be put into practice almost immediately, and they are learning a variety of other skills at the same time (that they may or may not be conscious of)
relations between lived activity andrepresentations of that activity in the city visible,
making connections between lived experiences and representations of activity reminds me of field trips and skate parks but I feel like the countermapping allows the youth to participate in a more legitimate way in public spaces.
new forms of spatial literacy as well as delicate aspects of identity work
I'd be interested to explore this further - what type of identity formation is going on here? how do the participants see themselves as a result of this experience?
New Mobility Invites Thinking Across Scales
the ride gave newcomers access to a CoP they did not previously have access to.
learning to operate a bike safely and for collectivelydetecting and fixing kinks in the bicycle before the youth took them home. But the ridingformation was also something worth learning about (i.e., how to ride together in the city).
the participants, much like skaters at a skatepark, learn by doing much more than from being told how to do something.
Nothing beatsgetting your feet dirty and your hands dirty and getting into the mud, finding outwhat’s there in person, and just reacting to it. And that is, really, the highest sci-ence (Bob Firth, personal communication)
learning by participation
URLnewclasses.nyu.edu/access/content/group/e1939d4c-2d95-426c-86da-f5762e2183aa/Taylor and Hall 2013 countermapping.pdf