SEAE Seminar Series: 13 July 2022. Exploring place-belongingness through student voices

Dr Aspa Baroutsis, Senior Lecturer and researcher, Southern Cross University


Places, such as schools, are significant to children’s experiences of belonging. Non-belonging is often associated with detrimental effects on children’s lives, including their desire to participate in learning and schooling. This project is informed by the sociological concepts of place-belongingness and the politics of belonging, as expressed through children’s voices. Drawing on sentence starters, metaphor cards, and photovoice to gauge children's perceptions, I identify the physical, material, social, affective, and academic school environments where children experience affirmative or negative feelings of belonging, resulting from encounters of comfort, security, attachment, membership, and ownership. As evident through this socio-spatial lens, favourable physical and material environments alongside supportive social interactions were most likely to enable children’s positive experiences of school belongingness, and participation in learning.


Aspa Baroutsis is a senior lecturer and researcher in the Faculty of Education. Aspa is known for her research in media sociology, focused on portrayals of teachers, teaching, and schools across traditional print and social media; learning engagement and student voice across mainstream and alternative school settings; and digital pedagogies and school learning spaces that support student belonging and participation. Her research has cross disciplinary reach within social and cultural studies, social geography, school architecture, and digital and media sociology.

Video recording of this seminar

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Date and time

From: 04:00 PM Wednesday, July 13, 2022 Wednesday, July 13, 2022 4:00 PM - QLD time To: 05:00 PM Wednesday, July 13, 2022 Wednesday, July 13, 2022 Wednesday, July 13, 2022 5:00 PM - NSW time 5:00 PM - QLD time