Wellbeing in Outdoor and Environmental Education Network

Launching at the

Wellbeing in Environmental Education Conference

February 22nd 2023

This network will specifically address wellbeing in curriculum-focused outdoor and environmental education.  It seeks to bring together stakeholders in research, policy, and practice such as outdoor and environmental education providers, schools, teachers, practitioners, and researchers that have an interest in the development of wellbeing in curriculum-focused outdoor and environmental education

Aims of the network

A place to bring together a wide variety of stakeholders with an interest in how we can support young people’s wellbeing in curriculum-based environmental education

To discuss practice and research interests, consider gaps in the field, and work together to source long-term funding for network activities

A place to share knowledge and experiences of working in the field of wellbeing, from the perspectives of schools staff, practitioners, researchers and anyone with an interest in or working knowledge of wellbeing and young people in educational settings

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Why is this important?

Whilst much of the discourse suggests that environmental education is invariably beneficial for one’s wellbeing, my PhD research highlighted that many young people, particularly those from urban settings can have negative perceptions of nature, leading to feelings such as anxiety and fear when taking part in curriculum-based environmental education where there is little time to connect with nature on a meaningful level. The very act of engaging with environmental education, when not framed appropriately to young people’s differing perspectives of the natural environment may negatively impact their wellbeing. Formal education practice and environmental education needs to understand and balance the competing values of young people in these settings. Moreover, we must begin to look more critically at the way nature is experienced by different groups, and address the mismatch in how young people, policymakers, educators, and schools view the purpose of environmental education. This network hopes to start a conversation about how we can critically address young people’s wellbeing in environmental education.

How Can I Get Involved?

If you would like to know more about the network, or to sign up to the mailing list, please contact Rachel Manning