Cultureplace and Learning

A/Prof. John Quay1

1University Of Melbourne

The notion of cultureplace is an attempt, using words, to show how living experience of culture cannot be separated from living experience of place, and vice versa (Quay, 2017). While we can think about place separate from culture, and culture separate from place, living in the present we make no such distinction. Living in the present is living cultureplace. But how might this connect with learning?  Firstly we must acknowledge the multiplicity of cultureplaces. For example, canoeing down a river is a different cultureplace than bushwalking down the same river. But so is being in a different group canoeing down the same river. Secondly we must understand that a cultureplace frames meaning – what things mean is embedded in a cultureplace. So when we encounter problems or issues, these are challenges to how we meaningfully comprehend what is going on in a cultureplace. Learning is resolving issues of cultureplace. Transfer of learning is between cultureplaces. In this presentation I aim to further unfold how understanding the notion of cultureplace is important for understanding learning.

Quay, J. (2017). From human–nature to cultureplace in education via an exploration of unity and relation in the work of Peirce and Dewey. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 36, 463–476.


John has worked at the University of Melbourne since 2000. Before this he worked at St Paul’s Anglican Grammar School in Warragul, Victoria; and before this at OEG. His teaching and research stem from his belief in the importance of learning from outdoor education so as to improve schooling and understandings of education itself.

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