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Title: Education in outdoor settings: the teacher’s role in more-than-human curriculum making
Author(s): Lynch, Jonathan
Supervisor(s): Mannion, Greg
Keywords: Outdoor learning
new materialism
Issue Date: Aug-2018
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: Learning beyond classrooms is becoming more common in formal and non-formal education internationally. Research on outdoor learning and education has focussed on barriers, outcomes, and equity rather than processes or teachers’ practice. Despite claims around the importance of natural and outdoor places in education, the ways in which teachers consider and use particular places in preparing for and teaching outdoors is not well understood. Despite calls to do so, non-anthropocentric, posthumanist, and new materialist place theories remain under-utilised in empirical research in this area. Notably, there are only a handful of studies that include any reference to teachers’ views or practices with respect to the role of more-than-human elements. The aim of this thesis was to find out from teachers themselves when and how more-than-human elements became harnessed into the planning and enactment of curricula for outdoor learning. A multicase study was employed to inquire into the practice of five in-service school teachers based on place-responsive methods, namely, walking interviews and memory-box interviews. Drawing on postqualitative orientations to analysis, Deleuzoguattarian inspired vignettes produced four findings. In different ways, these teachers’ practice emerged through (1) their ability to notice the more-than-human, (2) attending to how their learners noticed and responded to the more-than-human in educational experiences, (3) seeking to become more attuned to the places visited, and (4) supporting the assembling of material, discursive, human, and more-than-human elements together in curriculum making. Implications for teacher education and in-service practice that encourage consideration of the more-than-human in educational practice are signposted. The thesis’ contribution provokes new considerations of how outdoor educational provision can be re-oriented to include more-than-human elements. These contributions may be significant in supporting education that could improve human environment relations and address environmental concerns.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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