GTIP - GeogEd E-Journal: Vol 2, Issue 1, Article 3

What do children really learn? A discussion to investigate the effect that school partnerships have on children

Stephen Pickering

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects that school partnerships have on children's understanding, sense of values and perceptions of a distant place based on a three-year research project involving nine schools in Worcestershire, England and five schools in the Central River Division of The Gambia.

The paper argues that school partnerships must be a voluntary part of any school curriculum and that they must be part of the whole school curriculum, plans and ethos if they are to provide an opportunity for schoolchildren to develop an open and enquiring mind. It also demonstrates how partnerships that are not fully embedded into the school curriculum may support stereotypical views and thus restrict the ability of children to learn about the diverse and complex nature of other places and cultures.

The paper concludes by examining ways in which school partnerships, and other methods to teach about distant places, can be used to develop a sense of the pupil's own environment and an understanding of distant places.

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