Rooney, T. (2015). Higher stakes – the hidden risks of school security fences for children’s learning environments. Environmental Education Research,21(6), 885-898. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1080/13504622.2014.936308
In a move away from the open or low-fenced grounds that have traditionally been a feature of Australian school design, the last decade has seen a growth in the installation of high-security fences around schools. These structures, far from being passive and neutral, act to redefine the possibilities for movement and connectivity in the local landscape. This paper looks beyond the impact of fences on safety and security to explore the wider implications of these structures. By bringing together perspectives on children’s experience of independent mobility, belonging and attachment to place, the paper opens up new avenues for thinking about how children’s learning is shaped by the relationship between school, community and the boundaries between them. It provides a starting point for understanding how high-security boundaries can impact on children’s learning and why at times these structures may pose more risks than those they aim to address.
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