University of Oulu

Therrien, A., Lépy, É., Boutet, J.-S., Bouchard, K., & Keeling, A. (2021). Place-based education and extractive industries: Lessons from post-graduate courses in Canada and Fennoscandia. The Extractive Industries and Society, 100989.

Place-based education and extractive industries : lessons from post-graduate courses in Canada and Fennoscandia

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Author: Therrien, Aude1; Lépy, Élise2; Boutet, Jean-Sébastien3;
Organizations: 1Université Laval, Canada
2University of Oulu, Finland
3KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
4Memorial University, Canada
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 24.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-03-11


Place-based education and, more specifically, field-base education, is increasingly considered an effective way to enhance learning experiences. By connecting academic curriculum with different ways of knowing and practicing, these are seen as potentially transformative experiences that can offer participants enriching opportunities to learn about social realities beyond the classroom. However, critics also argue that place-based learning methods can lack a critical perspective and fail to connect local experience with global phenomena, as well as with theoretical concepts.

In light of the challenges and benefits associated with place-based education, this paper examines how this learning approach can be applied to the particular context of resource development studies and how it can contribute to postgraduate training in social sciences more generally. This example adds to a growing body of literature on place-based education, through an analysis of and critical reflection on the pedagogical approach used during two doctoral courses focused on mineral extraction in northern Canadian and Fennoscandian communities. Building on reflections by the course designers and the results of a survey administered to participants exploring the learning outcomes of these two postgraduate field courses, this paper examines how place-based education contributed to or hindered the pedagogical objectives pursued in the courses. It further explores the challenges and benefits of place-based education in postgraduate education and in the field of extractive resources development. After briefly reviewing the literature and defining the concept of place-based education, the paper describes the pedagogical approach used during the two PhD courses. In the third section, the results of the student surveys are discussed along with comments from the organizers, before some thoughts for future postgraduate courses are finally provided.

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Series: The extractive industries and society
ISSN: 2214-790X
ISSN-E: 2214-7918
ISSN-L: 2214-790X
DOI: 10.1016/j.exis.2021.100989
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 616 Other humanities
Funding: This work was conducted within REXSAC Nordic center of Excellence (Resource Extraction and Sustainable Communities) and MinErAL network (Mining Encounters and Indigenous Sustainable Livelihoods) activities respectively funded by Nordforsk and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. It was also supported by the University of Oulu and The Academy of Finland Profi4 Grant 318930 ArcI.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 318930
Detailed Information: 318930 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2021. Under a Creative Commons license Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).