Publication Date

March 2019

What impact does an immersive, international field school experience have on learning about urban resilience; and conversely, what impact does a framing concept of urban resilience have on international field schools in environmental and planning studies? This article reports on qualitative analysis of learning outcomes related to a novel pair of international field schools on the theme of urban resilience. Our field schools took place with German and Canadian students seeking to understand urban resilience in two different contexts, one a context of urban decline and post-industrial transformation, the other a context of urban growth encountering new climate change-related constraints. We found that the elements attributed the most importance for learning by students were the immersive experience of instrumental efforts being taken to advance urban resilience and the opportunity to see concepts of urban resilience put into action in the field. Mixed success was achieved in the students’ ability to incorporate more intrinsic understandings of urban resilience into their experiences; in particular, instructors’ expectations of students’ readiness to engage in social and peer learning were tested, as were the complications in navigating across instrumentalist and intrinsic understandings of urban resilience. This review of field school and resilience pedagogy offers insight into the challenges of teaching and learning in the terrain of urban resilience.