Experiencing (dis)comforting pedagogies: learning critical geography beyond the here and now

John Clayton*, Paul Griffin, Graham Mowl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper we reflect on our experiences teaching human geography across two modules that pedagogically centre student reflexivity through content that has potential to be dis-comforting. Drawing upon student experiences on two final year option modules, relating to social and spatial exclusion and ‘race’, ethnicity and multiculture, we reflect on how learning experiences on these modules ‘stay with’ students in ways that are potentially transformative. The paper draws upon our own reflections as teachers, alongside anonymous student work and crucially the student voice, through a questionnaire distributed to previous graduates. Foregrounding the student voice is a key contribution here, whereby we assess student relationships with taught content beyond their studies. Bringing this data together, we draw upon border pedagogy to suggest that discomfort is integral to a transformative approach, but how scaffolding is necessary to enable such learning experiences. We also acknowledge, though, that such learning experiences are not experienced equally and there are limits to such approaches, particularly within contemporary higher education institutions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Geography in Higher Education
Early online date2 Apr 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Apr 2023


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