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Royal Geographical Society and ‘peripatetic learning’

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Published: 4 October 2021

Lecturer in Tourism, Hospitality and Events at the University of Sunderland in London, Fotios Vasileiou

The annual International Conference of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) took place this month in their Kensington offices, London.  

Our lecturer in Events and Entertainment, Fotios Vasileiou took part in the event, presenting his research on ‘emotional geography in higher education’.  

Emotional geographies are focused on the impact physical spaces can have on the education of students.  

It’s based on a teaching method, going back to ancient Greece and Rome, called ‘peripatetic learning’.  

Philosophers would teach their students by walking around in their local areas, relating their teaching to the things they saw.   

The aim was to inspire and help people feel inspired, connecting to their humanity as well as developing creativity and curiosity.  

Taken into the modern world, Fotios discussed the uses of peripatetic learning through the history of education and psychological approaches to the emotional impact places have on us as people.  

These so-called ‘emotional geographies’, Fotios says, have the potential to change the future of higher education events studies.  

To put the theory into practice, he’s been taking his students out of the classroom, not only on visits and field trips but through ‘free walking where he’s been teaching his regular classes on the move as he and his students wander the urban environments around the University of Sunderland in London.  

“Post-COVID-19 presents a real opportunity for exploring new and exciting ways of teaching,” Fotios told us.  

It's important to appreciate the human elements of urban environments alongside the business considerations.”  

Following his presentation, Fotios, who has spoken at the RGS multiple times in the past, was formally accepted as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.  

The RGS’s annual conference is one of the biggest of its kind in the UK, with over 2,000 academics attending from all around the world.  

Fotios Vasileiou is the coordinator of the BA (Hons) Events and Entertainment Management course at the University of Sunderland in London.  

Visit the Tourism, Hospitality and Events course pages for more information. Find out more by following #WeAreSunLon on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.