Accepted Paper:

The skateboarder's way of creating space: spatial perception, occupance and performance in school and non-scholastic settings  


David Brick (Institut für Pädagogik, Universität Essen)

Paper short abstract:

I will focus on the educational practice in schools in contrast to non-scholastic settings. The emphasis lies on the comparison between cultural practices of the skater scene and the educational system.

Paper long abstract:

Skateboarding is a very demanding and creative physical activity which goes along with a great deal of self-discipline and self-motivation. In addition, creative adoption of everyday-environment and symbolic space order as well as further altered spatial practices can be observed. However, the scholastic setting does not allow a lot of room for these reinterpretations. The comparison between skater scene and scholastic education setting in specific reveals enormous differences in terms of techniques concerning spatial perception, spatial occupance and spatial performance. While skaters "switch" as "mobile residents" through spaces and realities and therefore experience their environment as "urban nomads", the scholastic setting is predominated by the ideal of a sedentary book culture.

What happens when these differing worlds of experience meet and how do the adolescents on the one hand and the institution school on the other hand handles this clash? The term "urban competence" and the abilities associated with this term play a big part during the speed- and attention-based activity that is skateboarding. In how far does this affect scholastic learning? Are there any consequential effects or are the concerning adolescents and their scene-specific techniques of spatial perception, spatial occupance and spatial performance problematized? In order to detect and understand possible potentialities, those scene-specific room techniques shall be revealed and analyzed.

The following qualitative research methods will be utilized:

1. Interpretation of ethnographic-focused observation listings.

2. Interpretation of group discussions with adolescents from the skater scene.

First research results will be presented during the lecture.

Panel P233
School ethnographies: inside and beyond schooling