Chapter 1 Introduction: transformational change in planning education pedagogy?
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This chapter elaborates on the book’s rationale, aims and objectives to advance the dialogue on contemporary challenges to planning education and to explore prevailing trends and arguably transformational changes in spatial planning and its education. The context and nature of the education for urban and regional planning is reviewed as well as the manifold external factors and increasing complexities of planning tasks at the start of the 21st century. It is argued that emerging contemporary societal, demographic and environmental conditions posit ever more wicked and complex challenges which require planners to embrace novel skills, boundary-spanning knowledges and attitudes in addressing them. As such there is an urgent need for substantial changes in programme content, focus and requisite pedagogical approaches. Going beyond a mere compilation of teaching case studies the book offers also insights and viewpoints from prominent educationalist on postmodern pedagogical concepts to contextualise global innovation trends in the field of spatial planning. The book’s contributions are clustered into four themed sections: Pedagogical Debates; Teaching and Learning In, For and With Community; Developing Classroom-based New Competencies; Further Education and Life-long capacity building which are further elaborated on in this chapter. In addition, brief summaries for each contribution and its key points are offered while contextualizing the emerging transformative and transformational changes for and in education more broadly and in planning education, specifically. The chapter closes with a call for valuing new learning landscapes for both planning and educational approaches and proposing and cherishing the development of new pathways to continue the dialogue initiated with the book.

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