© 2014

Informal Education, Childhood and Youth

Geographies, Histories, Practices

  • Sarah Mills
  • Peter Kraftl

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Introduction: Geographies, Histories and Practices of Informal Education

  3. Nature Spaces

  4. Negotiating In/formal Education Spaces

  5. Youth Work Spaces

  6. Youth-Led Spaces

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 229-229

About this book


This collection of original chapters brings together cutting-edge research on informal education - that is, learning practices that emphasise dialogue and learning through everyday life. For the first time, it highlights the way in which geography matters to informal education practices. Through a range of examples from the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and from a range of geographical contexts, the authors explore the relationship between history, geography and practice in the field of informal education. Case studies include youth work, Scouting, Guiding, Care Farms, youth music programmes and the use of online/information technologies. This book will be of interest to geographers and sociologists of education, childhood and youth scholars. It also provides an engaging resource and collection of case studies for educators, youth workers and other professionals who work with young people.


Alter care childhood childhood and youth children education emotion environment feminism geography girls identity innovation learning youth

Editors and affiliations

  • Sarah Mills
    • 1
  • Peter Kraftl
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of GeographyLoughborough UniversityUK
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of LeicesterUK

About the editors

Sarah Mills is a Lecturer in Human Geography at the Department of Geography, Loughborough University, UK.
Peter Kraftl is a Reader in Human Geography at the Department of Geography, University of Leicester, UK. He has previously published Geographies of Alternative Education and Critical Geographies of Childhood and Youth.

Dena Aufseeser, University of Washington, USA

Catherine Bannister, University of Sheffield, UK

Mireia Baylina, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain

Sophie Bowlby, University of Reading, UK

Simon Bradford, Brunel University, UK

Richard Davies, Aberystwyth University, UK

Luke Dickens, The Open University, UK

Shanene Ditton, Griffith University, Australia

Ian Donnachie, The Open University, UK

Gregory Donovan, Macaulay Honors College, USA

Kate Edwards, Pearson Education, UK

Denise Goerisch, San Diego State University, USA

Louise Holt, Loughborough University, UK

Richard G Kyle, University of Stirling, UK

Douglas Lonie, National Foundation for Youth Music, UK

Maria Rodó-de-Zárate, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain

Stephen T. Sadlier, University of Washington Educational Outreach, USA

Jean Spence, Durham University, UK

Bibliographic information


“This innovative book has a clear focus on informal educational practices, explored through a number of examples from both historical and geographical contexts. … Each critical debate is contextualised within the literature, effectively referencing key figures from each field, providing directions for further exploratory learning. … I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book, and have happily found a place for it to nestle in my bookcase, providing a useful reference source for both my teaching, and my research.” (Tracy Hayes, Children's Geographies, January, 2016)

“Useful for anyone considering how informal education can or could have been experienced. … the book has certainly accomplished its aim of opening up new ways of examining informal education across a range of disciplines. … Mills and Kraftl have been able to build a consistent set of themes to bridge these contributions without having to resort to tentative links between chapters, resulting in an enjoyable read with the potential to influence a wide range of research.” (Edward Whiffin, History of Education, 2016)

"Informal Education, Childhood and Youth is an extremely incisive and timely intervention into broader debates around the geographies, sociologies and historical precedents of contemporary educational practices. Indeed, it positions itself at the forefront of these debates, recognising the diverse meanings and spaces of 'education', and the multiple social functions it serves. It is a treasure trove of rich empirical research on 'informal education', as well as pushing the boundaries of scholarship in this area, theoretically. The book will be of interest to academics and students working within geography, education, sociology, anthropology and politics, as well as educational practitioners and policy makers." - Johanna L. Waters, University of Oxford, UK

"This timely and innovative collection weaves together the geographies and histories of informal education in fresh and thought-provoking ways. Its broad scope and contemporary relevance make an important contribution to the literature and highlight the value of cross-disciplinary approaches. The book's distinctive perspectives offer stimulating new insights which should have wide appeal." - Melanie Tebbutt, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK