Using Place Construction Theory for Geographic Learning: An Analysis of Place-based Learning Outcomes and Processes in Pedagogical Fieldwork




Springer, Cathryn E.

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The Grosvenor Center for Geographic Education


This article seeks a deeper understanding of geographic learning through the theoretical development of place construction theory, as it pertains to learning. A mixed method study was conducted to empirically analyze and explore place construction processes and outcomes of a field study, in which students visited a local ranch as part of their physical geography laboratory course. Findings of this research indicate that students experienced significant gains in cognitive learning and that multiple place construction processes were instrumental in facilitating learning when the ranch, as a place, served as the context for learning. This theoretical development and the findings of this study have implications for not only geographic learning and the use of pedagogical field studies, but also for the interdisciplinary study of place-based education.



geography, geographic learning theory, place construction, place as context, place-based education, field study, pedagogical fieldwork


Springer, C.E. (2009). Using place construction theory for geographic learning: An analysis of place-based learning outcomes and processes in pedagogical fieldwork. Research in Geographic Education, 11(2), pp. 54-78.


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