Proximity and Partition: Elementary School Co-Location in New York City

Authors: Caroline Loomis*, CUNY - Graduate Center
Topics: Social Geography, Ethnicity and Race, Urban Geography
Keywords: childhood, social reproduction, education, racial capitalism, gentrification
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: 8228, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In New York City, small and charter schools are regularly sited in buildings where neighborhood public schools already operate, through a process of space/time partitioning known as co-location. This paper considers how children, parents, and educators experience this arrangement, and how co-location connects to uneven geographies of race and class in the surrounding urban space. Co-location is both common and fraught – contested in public hearings, given shape in day-to-day interactions at the scales of the body, the building, and the neighborhood. Drawing on participant-observation, interviews, and mapmaking with children, parents, and educators in co-located elementary schools, this paper considers what the spatial practice of co-location produces, how it is perceived and navigated by the people who experience it, and how those people understand themselves and others in this context. Grounded in children’s geographies and social reproduction scholarship, this paper centers children’s perspectives on schooling in the racial-capitalist city.

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