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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Pedagogy of space in a democratic free school : a case study of Windsor House Mills, Sarah Anne


This thesis asks the question: what lessons are embedded in the consumption of space at Windsor House School. It is explored by looking at the interconnections between rules, mobility, self-regulation, authority, power, and negotiation of space. The fieldwork for this case study was conducted in the spring of 2004 while Windsor House School was located at the Clover ley site in the North Vancouver school district. The research practice is guided by ethnographic strategies of participant observation, observant participation, guided tours, discussions, and reviewing field-based documents. It is authored from a feminist, sociological position that advocates for radical pedagogy. It rests on the assumption that the use of space is a politicized activity with embedded lessons that link to ideology and pedagogy. This thesis finds that the semiotic meaning of institutional school space is being contested and transformed at Windsor House. It concludes that it is important that non-standard school spaces, such as Windsor House, exist because they expand the imagination of what is possible within restrictive spaces.

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