McInerney, Peter, Smyth, John and Down, Barry (2011) ‘Coming to a place near you?’ The politics and possibilities of a critical pedagogy of place-based education. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 39 (1). pp. 3-16. ISSN 1359-866X

It may seem something of a paradox that in a globalised age where notions of interdependence, interconnectedness and common destinies abound, the ‘local’, with its diversity of cultures, languages, histories and geographies, continues to exercise a powerful grip on the human imagination. The ties that bind us have global connections but are anchored in a strong sense of locality. This paper explores the theoretical foundations of place-based education (PBE) and considers the merits and limitations of current approaches with particular reference to Australian studies. The authors argue that there is a place for PBE in schools but contend that it must be informed by a far more critical reading of the notions of ‘place’, ‘identity’ and ‘community’. The implications of pursuing a critical pedagogy of place-based education are discussed with reference to curriculum, pedagogy and teacher education.

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