What are alternative education spaces -: and why do they matter?

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This article examines alternative education spaces: schools and other sites that offer children an explicit alternative to attending mainstream school in the United Kingdom. It is situated within burgeoning, diverse work on ‘geographies of education’, key approaches to which are outlined in the article. Subsequently, research undertaken at 59 alternative education spaces is used to exemplify how geographers examine both what happens ‘within’ and ‘beyond’ the school walls, at different spatial scales. The article offers an overview of a range of geographical (and other) processes that make alternative education spaces ‘alternative’, which includes their financing and physical layout, as well as their ultimate social and educational aims. Brief case studies from two learning spaces are offered to bring these processes to life. In so doing, the article prompts consideration of why alternative education spaces might matter – both to geographers and to the wider world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-138
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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