The Importance of Place

In an attempt to understand why non-formal learning experiences often resonate deeply with—and contribute to the development of—community leaders, this research project aims to investigate the importance of place for fostering citizen empowerment within community education environments. In uncovering what role, if any, place has in developing citizen leaders, The Importance of Place will offer commentary on how learning environments in urban settings can more effectively engage, educate and empower citizens to take greater ownership over the shaping of their communities.

Taking a case study approach, a research emphasis will be placed on investigating activities which promote citizen empowerment. This study will combine interviews from active and engaged community members who have observed community learning experiences, a review of available documents and artifacts, and a contrasting between the findings of the study and both relevant literature and established theories. 

Research Period


Areas of Investigation

Citizen Empowerment
Community Development
Informal Learning

Lead Researcher

Kevin Van Lierop

Research Partners

St. Francis Xavier University

Further Projects