This study examines the conceptualizations of planning research by more than 200 Masters students enrolled in planning schools located throughout four continents. The study is set in the context of theories on the two main traditions of planning thought: ‘planning as a social science’ and ‘planning as design’. The findings reveal that planning students typically have one of four conceptions of planning research: (1) research as trading of ideas; (2) research as gathering of evidence; (3) research as precursor to design; and (4) research as rhetoric. While the planning schools included in this study have diverse orientations (along the design-social science continuum), our findings suggest planning students most often conceptualize this discipline as a social science. The orientation of a planning student’s current school or department appears to be more important in determining a student’s conception research than his or her undergraduate study major. While planning curricula are becoming more homogenized around the world, some national traditions persist which then affect how students regard planning research.
Title: Planning students’ conceptions of research
- Dorina Pojani (UQ|UP)
- Anthony Kimpton (UQ|UP)
- Roberto Rocco (TU Delft)
Publication: Journal of Planning Education and Research