The journey to school: space, geography and experiences of rural children
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This paper gives prominence to rural children’s accounts of their journey to school. Twelve children (male = 6; female = 6) from three different rural villages in Lesotho participated in the study. Individual and focus group interviews were used to generate data, and these were preceded by three participatory research techniques: family drawings, route mapping and diamond ranking, to engage children in dialogue and discussion. The study provided insights into the implications of family dynamics on children’s school journey and the meaning of the school journey to the children. It illuminated how children actively define and re-define the varied places, power-laden spaces and social relations embedded in the journey. The study also highlighted how children’s agency is expressed in their negotiation of the school journey, and represented rural children as heterogeneous with the capacity to navigate their localities in complex and autonomous ways.