Edinburgh Research Explorer

Prof Robbie Nicol

Personal Chair of Place-Based Education

Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

Professional Qualifications

2019Principal Fellow Higher Education Academy, PFHEA

Biography

  • BA (Hons) Recreation Management (Moray House)

  • PG Diploma in Outdoor Education (Moray House)

  • PhD (Edinburgh)

 

Robbie Nicol is Professor of Place-Based Education in Moray House School of Education and Sport.

My life motivation comes from the realisation that human activities are fundamentally altering the planet's ability to sustain us in the long term. As an educator I believe that the outdoors provide places where individuals can rediscover their direct dependence on the planet through embodied experiences. As such my teaching and research interests are directed towards the theoretical development and practical implementation of environmental education, sustainability education and epistemological diversity (different ways of knowing) particularly in the outdoors.

I supervise PhD and MSc students in a range of topics including place-based education, child development, emotional intelligences, the use and application of learning models, and cross-cultural education. I have authored more than 50 articles, co-authored Learning Outside the Classroom, Routledge (2012) and most recently Canoeing Around the Cairngorms: a Circumnavigation of my Home (2016). I have delivered keynote conference addresses in Japan, Sweden, Canada, Slovenia, Denmark, UK, Finland and the Czech Republic.

I am Director of the Shieling Project https://www.theshielingproject.org/

I hold a wide range of national governing body awards in canoeing/kayaking, mountaineering and skiing and maintains an active participation in these activities through journeying.

Dr Robbie Nicol's profile on the Outdoor Education website

Current Research Interests

  • Place-Based Education
  • Outdoor Environmental Education (theory and practice)
  • Environmental Philosophy
  • Epistemological Diversity (different ways of knowing)
  • Experiential Learning
  • Sustainable Development Education

Research Supervision

I will supervise research under the headings above and currently supervise doctoral students in the following areas:

  • Douglas Briton: How do people make decisions and act in high stress crisis?
  • Christian Hanser: A classroom beyond walls: Investigating student teachers’ negotiations of meaning when applying transformative pedagogies through a mobile tiny house as experimental classroom
  • Lewis Stockwell: Hepburnian Natural Aesthetics and the educational potential of canoe journeying

Collaborative Activity

  • Higgins, P., Christie, B., Ross, H., Beames. S. and Nicol R. (current) National Curriculum Project Outdoor Learning.
  • Higgins, P., Nicol, R. & Ross, H., 2006, 'Teachers' Approaches and Attitudes to Engaging with the Natural Heritage Through the Curriculum'. Perth: Scottish Natural Heritage, (June 2006).
  • Nicol, R., Higgins, P. and Ross, H. (2006). 'Outdoor Education: the views of providers from different contexts in Scotland'. Dundee: Learning and Teaching Scotland.
  • Nicol, R., Higgins, P., Goodyear, M and Ross, H. (2006). 'Working with Local Authorities to deliver first-hand experience of the natural heritage through the formal education sector'. Perth: Scottish Natural Heritage.
  • Ross, H., Higgins, P. and Nicol, R. (2006). 'Recognition of Young People's Achievements in Outdoor Learning Activities: A Report for Learning and Teaching Scotland'. Dundee: Learning and Teaching Scotland.

Teaching

MSc Programmes in 'Outdoor Education' and 'Outdoor Environmental and Sustaianbility Education'

  • Outdoor Environmental Education: Concept-Based Practice
  • Professional Practice and Experientail Learning
  • Practical programme - Canoeing (River Spey Descent), Winter Mountaineering, Environmental Education in Practice

MSc Learning for Sustainability

  • Environmental Philosopy and City-Based Outdoor Learning

 

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