Levinson, M.P and Sparkes, A.C (2005) 'Gypsy children, space, and the school environment.' International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 18 (6). pp. 751-772. ISSN 0951-8398
This article draws on data generated from a 3½‐year ethnographic study of the interface between Gypsy culture and the educational system in England. The evidence suggests that Gypsy children have distinctive spatial orientations that are embedded in their own culture and life experience. These relate to issues revolving around degrees of nomadic and sedentary lifestyles, and also around spatial awareness deriving from the site environment. In combination, these features have the potential to make the transition between home and school problematic. Moreover, the utilization of space by Gypsy children is often misinterpreted within schools, being at odds with, and constituting a challenge to, the structured social space of the school environment. In view of the multiple meanings of space, this raises issues about the lack of flexible responses in institutional contexts.
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