AAR4820 - Methods and Reflections for Studying Urban Informality
Examination arrangement: Assignment and Report
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This course is focused on research methods and experience based reflection and learning. It introduces practice based research methods and discusses various methodological approaches to researching urban environments. The course also gives the students tools to critically analyse collaborative situations and teamwork and promote responsible learning and practice in complex settings building a critical awareness of urban practice and research ethics. Through regular reflections sessions, students will be able to critically analyze their roles in interdisciplinary and multicultural project groups and make sense of the changes in their perception and behaviour.
The course deals with methods relevant for exploring complex urban environments especially with a focus on urban informality. Methods for participatory assessment of challenges and resources in informal urban neighborhoods will form the core of the course. In addition, methods for socio economic and spatial study of poor communities will be taught. The course will also deal with frameworks for studying vulnerability and livelihood challenges in urban poor communities.
The second major focus in the course will be a reflection on the use of various methods taught in the course in the practical field work conducted in AAR 4525 Urban Informality - project. The course will enable the students to undertsand the role of relfection in action and research using appropriate theoretical and methodological frameworks.
Knowledge: The candidate will have knowledge of various theoretical and methodological approaches to researching urban environments to reflect on own practices.
Skills: The candidate will be able to critically analyse collaborative situations and teamwork and promote responsible learning and practice in complex settings.
General competency: The candidate will have the ability to critically reflect upon their roles as urban practitioners and members of interdisciplinary and multicultural project groups.
Learning methods and activities
The course is highly participatory, comprising group work, reflection sessions, seminars and readings. It incorporates course materials and teaching methods applied in the Experts in Teamwork (EiT) courses, and it can be taken as a replacement of the EiT course.
The evaluation will be based on a report on the methods used in the field work using literature on methods provided in the course and a written assignment on the reflections from the field work.Both the report and the assignment will count equally towards the grade.
Further on evaluation
You can register for a re-scheduled examination in the next exam period.
Admission to a programme of study is required:
Sustainable Urban Transitions (MSSUSURB)
Urban Ecological Planning (MSA1)
Required previous knowledge
Completed three years basic bachelor courses in a relevant field. The course must be taken together with courses AAR4525 Urban Informality - Project and AAR5210 Current Challenged in Urban Practices
Indicative readings include:
Hamdi, N. (2004) The Bus Stop. In Hamdi, N. Cultivating Community
Small Change: About the Art of Practice and the Limits of Planning in Cities, Chapter 7, pp 73-76.Hamdi, N. (2010) The Placemakers Guide to Building Community, London: Earthscan.
Scheyvens, R., Nowak, B, and Scheyven, H. (2003) Ethical Issues. In Scheyvens, R., Nowak, B, and Scheyven, H. (Eds.) Development Fieldwork: A Practical Guide. Chapter 8, pp 139-166.
Scheyvens, R., Scheyvens, H. and Murray, W. (2003) Working with Marginalized, Vulnerable and Privileged Groups. In Scheyvens, R., Nowak, B, and Scheyven, H. (Eds.) Development Fieldwork: A Practical Guide. Chapter 9, pp167-193.
Schon, D. A. (1983) From Technical Rationality to Reflection-in- Action. In Schon, D. A. The Reflective Practitioner How Professionals Think in Action. Chapter 2, pp 3-21.
Schon, D. A. (1983) Design as a Reflective Conversation with the Situation. In Schon, D. A. The Reflective Practitioner How Professionals Think in Action. Chapter 3, pp 21-76.
Thomas, S. (undated) What is Participatory Learning and Action (PLA): An Introduction
University of Wolverhampton.
UN Habitat (2010) Count me in Surveying for tenure security and urban land management. Nairobi: UN-Habitat.
Readings from the EiT Compendium and guides
Examination arrangement: Assignment and Report
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- * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date.