Chapter 2 Education for 21st century urban and spatial planning: critical postmodern pedagogies
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Providing an educational and pedagogical contextualisation this chapter argues that the far-reaching technological, economic, political, cultural, social, spatial and demographic changes that have escalated on a global level in recent decades call for radically new pedagogies. Such pedagogies, referred to here as critical postmodern pedagogies, must be able to respond to the complexities and erratic shifts of the world, whilst also addressing the power structures that are the legacy of modernity. The chapter explores such pedagogies in the context of education for urban and spatial planners, a field which is particularly affected by such accelerating global shifts. Drawing on the contributions by planning educators and scholars in the book, a number of elements of critical postmodern pedagogical practice are identified and critiqued: learning-centred learning and critical learner autonomy; boundary crossing and participatory practice, including methodologies; and the centrality of ethics in urban and spatial planning pedagogies. The chapter concludes with an acknowledgement of the tensions within higher education that can constrain such pedagogies and that need to be wrestled with constantly. It nevertheless recognises that urban and spatial planning education can offer a “pedagogy of hope”, which, rather than reinforcing the status quo, has the potential to be a space of resistance and transformation.

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