Rachel Manning
PhD Research Student


Research projects

Project Title: Exploring the role and potential of environmental and experiential learning in enhancing well being

Supervisors: Dr Ewan Woodley, Dr Jon Cinnamon, Prof Stewart Barr

Funding Body: Field Studies Council and Exeter University

Project Description:
This project aims to explore the role and potential that environmental education can play in enhancing wellbeing, particularly through residential educational experiences and social learning. In particular, the student will explore the role of different pedagogic practices in promoting wellbeing and will examine the sustainability of such impacts. Using Slapton Ley Field Centre and National Nature Reserve (South Devon) as a case study, the research will explore the underlying pedagogic discourses of ‘field experiences’ and their connections to evolving forms of social practice developed by visitors to field studies centres, and through experiential learning more generally.

The project will address the following objectives:

  • To explore the ways in which the concept of well-being is manifested within experiential learning practices at the FSC through primary empirical research, using volunteer ethnography and in-depth interviews.
  • To explore the types of well-being associated with experiential learning at FSC Slapton through visitor surveys and follow-up interviews.
  • To understand the role and impact of experiential learning in promoting practical strategies for enhancing well-being within environmental education

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