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This event looked at critical questions around how we may combine science- and arts-based approaches to shift perspectives away from a human-centred view of the world to one that views humans as only one thread in the web of life.

The Covid-19 pandemic is not the only global challenge we face: climate change and biodiversity loss are arguably of greater concern as ‘Forests burn, glaciers melt and one million species face extinction’ (University of Cambridge, 2019). Sir David Attenborough (2019) warns us, ‘Our planet hangs in the balance. The only way to operate is to believe we can do something about it…’. Education is key to this and there are plans, led by nature writer Mary Colwell and MP Caroline Lucas to develop a new optional GCSE in natural history (TES, 2020) designed to help students develop a greater understanding of the natural environment. This will involve consultations between exam boards, DfE, teachers and subject associations.

This session, suggested ways that we can shift perspectives through: illustrations in children’s literature; digital fiction; social action, and adventure. Each paper within this webinar outlined the rationale for the proposed approach and offered evidence-based suggestions for incorporating this into teaching practice. By sharing stories from our research studies, we will demonstrate the importance of shifting perspectives through pedagogical practices so that we can positively affect societal and environmental change. The session concluded by looking forward with hope to doing things differently, together.


Tracy Hayes, Dr

Lecturer at University of Cumbria

Tracy Hayes is the current convenor for the Nature, Outdoor Learning and Play Special Interest Group. Tracy Hayes was awarded the 2018 Anna Craft Creativities in Education Prize for her paper Responsive, responsible research: Lexi’s...

Mark Leather, Dr

Senior Lecturer at Institute of Education, Plymouth Marjon University

Dr Mark Leather is, with Dr Tracy Hayes, a Convenor of BERA's Nature, Outdoor Learning and Play (NOLAP) special interest group (SIG). He is senior lecturer and programme area lead for the MRes in outdoor education/outdoor learning and BA (Hons)...

Jennifer Rudd, Dr

You and CO2 Dr Jennifer Rudd is a Senior Lecturer in Circular Economy in the School of Management. She has previously worked on technological solutions to climate change from a chemistry and engineering perspective. Dr Rudd's main research...

Jakob Frímann Þorsteinsson

University of Iceland

Jakob F. Thorsteinsson was born in 1969 and is a teacher by education with MA in Learning and Teaching Studies with emphasis on Outdoor Education. He has wide experience in social and leisure work, taught primary school and since 2004 has...