UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Broadening our classroom : planning education and the Naga City Studio course at UBC SCARP Chase, Jeffery Park


Broadening our Classroom is organized into two parts. Part One deals with a theoretical discussion about the meaning and motivations of planning education in contemporary societies and times. From here, planning education can be both contextualized and understood within the wider discourse of what planning education should be in the 21st century. This study then works to illuminates areas of planning education that must be critiqued and challenged based on the way they are currently taught and engaged. Here, the ideas of ‘skills’ and ‘competencies’ are teased in an attempt to fruitfully grapple with planning education from the standpoint of its students. This points towards the need for 21st century planners to observe values, utilize skills and employ took-kits which include the ability to work in cross-cultural settings effectively (at home and abroad), an area of planning education which is to an extent lacking in practice. The merger of planning education and cross-cultural learning experience is proposed as a mechanism to address some of the challenges associated with this endeavor. Part Two transports the theoretical discussion into practice through an evaluation of the Naga City Studio Course offered by the School of Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia (SCARP UBC). In May and June 2007, 20 UBC students participated in a ‘Planning Studio’ course in Naga City, Philippines. The Naga City Studio course serves as a case study in operationalizing a direction for planning education. The course is evaluated and analyzed primarily through participant’s experiences and reflections on the course. It becomes clear that the Naga City Studio Course serves as a creative and ultimately profound example of new directions in planning education, providing students the opportunity to gain cross-cultural exposure and to better understand and enhance their planning related skills within a cross-cultural context. The opportunity for students to both develop and better understand the (cultural) competencies necessary as practicing professionals is a key outcome of the course and serves as the key finding of Broadening our Classroom.

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