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Dr Mark Leather

Associate Professor - Education: Experiential, Adventure and Outdoor Learning

Programme Area Lead - Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning

Institute of Education

01752 636700

mleather@marjon.ac.uk


Mark Leather

Qualifications

  • EdD Doctorate in Education, University of Exeter
  • MSc Outdoor Education, University of Edinburgh
  • BSc (Hons) Science Education with QTS, University of Exeter
  • BCU, MTA, RYA - a variety of outdoor coaching, instructing and leadership awards


Teaching

  • Masters in Research - MRes in Outdoor Education or Outdoor Learning or Forest School
  • MA Education
  • BA Outdoor Adventure Education
  • BEd Physical Education
  • BEd Primary Education
  • PGCE Physical Education
  • Here is Mark teaching an outdoors workshop in Milan, Italy


Research

  • Nature, Outdoor Learning and Play
  • Place Based Outdoor Education
  • Forest School
  • Nature Peadagogy
  • Water Environments for outdoor education
  • Perceptions of Disability: Improvisation with Good Intentions
  • Self esteem and self concept development through Outdoor Learning & Adventure Education programmes.
  • Outdoor learning and disaffected pupils.


Publications

Selected research is available on ResearchGate.

PUBLICATIONS

Leather, M., Fewings, G. & Porter, S. (2020).  Outdoor education: the Romantic origins at the University of St Mark and St John. History of Education Review. Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/HER-04-2019-0009   

Leather, M. (2020). Finding my professional voice: Autobiography as a research method for outdoor studies in B. Humberstone and H. Prince (Eds.). Research Methods in Outdoor Studies. London: Routledge.

Gibson, K. & Leather, M. (2020). Mixed methods research: Paradigmatic considerations for outdoor studies in B. Humberstone and H. Prince (Eds.). Research Methods in Outdoor Studies. London: Routledge.

Leather, M., & Gibson, K. (2019). The consumption and hyperreality of nature: Greater affordances for Outdoor Learning. Curriculum perspectives, 39(1), 79-83. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41297-019-00063-7 

Leather, M. (2019). Pasts and Presents Making Connections with the Sea: A Matter of a Personal and Professional Heimat, in K. Peters & M. Brown, (Eds.). Living with the Sea: Knowledge, Awareness and Action.  Routledge Studies in Human Geography.  pp 196-212. Abingdon: Taylor & Francis.  ISBN: 9781138062078

Leather, M. (2018). Outdoor education in the National Curriculum: the shifting sands in formal education, in P. Becker, B. Humberstone C. Loynes, & J. Schirp, (Eds.). The Changing World of Outdoor Learning in Europe. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. (Chapter 12). ISBN: 9781138047662

Leather, M (2018). (Ed.). Atmospheres and Hauntings: Book of Extended Abstracts for the European Institute for Outdoor Adventure Education and Experiential Learning Conference. Plymouth: Plymouth Marjon University. ISBN: 978-0-9955996-4-2

Leather, M. (2018). A critique of Forest School: something lost in translation. Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education. 21(1), 5-18. doi: 10.1007/s42322-017-0006-1

Leather, M. (2018) The water environment and informal education, in T. Jeffs & J. Ord (Eds.). Rethinking Outdoor, Experiential and Informal Education: Beyond the Confines. pp 124-138. London: Routledge. ISBN 9780415703109

Ord, J. & Leather, M. (2018). Experiential Education: The Importance of John Dewey, in T. Jeffs & J. Ord (Eds.). Rethinking Outdoor, Experiential and Informal Education: Beyond the Confines. (Chapter 3) London: Routledge. ISBN 9780415703109

Leather M & Nicholls F (2016) More than activities: using a ‘sense of place’ to enrich student experience in adventure sport. Sport, Education and Society, 21(3), 443-464.

Nicholls, F & Leather, M (2014) Enriching Student Learning: More than activities. In E. Backman, B. Humberstone & C. Loynes (eds.) Urban nature: inclusive learning through youthwork and school work. Boras, Sweden: Recito Publishers. ISBN-13: 978-9175176598

Leather M (2013) ‘It's good for their self-esteem’: the substance beneath the label.  Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning, 13(2), 158-179.

Parrott L, Pettit E & Leather M (2012) Up the creek without a communication aid: Speech and language therapy and outdoor adventure education.  In A Miller, J Sharp & J Strong (eds.) What is research-led teaching? Multi-disciplinary perspectives.  London: CREST/GuildHE.

Ord J & Leather M (2011) The Substance Beneath the Labels of Experiential Learning:  The Importance of John Dewey for Outdoor Educators.  Australian Journal of Outdoor Education, 15(1), 13-23

Leather M (2010) An Exploratory Case Study of a 'Successful' Pupil Referral Unit (PRU). Unpublished Doctoral Thesis:  University of Exeter.   Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10036/97436

Leather M & Porter S (2006) An Outdoor Evolution:  Changing names, changing contexts, constant values. In B Humberstone & H Brown Shaping the Outdoor Profession through Higher Education.  Penrith: Institute for Outdoor Learning.  ISBN 1-898555-11-7

 

INVITED KEYNOTE PRESENTATIONS

Leather M (2019) Paths, Goals and Perspectives of Forest Pedagogy in Italy. 1st Convengo di Pedagogia del Bosco, Milan, Italy.

Cree J & Leather M (2018) What is the place of Forest School in outdoor learning? At the Forest School Association National Conference, 5th - 7th October, Bradmoor Woods, Norfolk, UK.

Leather M (2018) A Critique of Forest Schools: Something Lost in Translation. National Outdoor Education Conference, 9th - 12th April, Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart, Australia.

Leather M (2015) University Programmes in Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning, at The First International Conference on Education - INNOVATION - the role of informal education, including outdoor education in the education and development. Faculty of Economics and Management, University of Szczecin, Poland.

 

CONFERENCE PAPERS

Leather M (2019) Putting the torch of knowledge into the hands of the rickburners: An imaginary risk of inconvenient excellence. Outdoor education and social justice for the poor. European Institute for Outdoor Adventure Education and Experiential Learning. Conference: Diversity and inclusion in Outdoor & Experiential Learning, Tralee, Ireland.

Leather, M (2019) Playful in operation, seriousness with intent: Not just for the kids.  British Education Research Association Conference, University of Manchester, UK.

Leather M (2018) Finding my professional voice: Autobiography as an effective research method. Presentation at the 8th International Outdoor Education Research Conference, held at the University of the Sunshine Coast. click here

Leather M & Gibson K (2018) Hyperreality, young people and “nature”. Presentation at the 8th International Outdoor Education Research Conference, held at the University of the Sunshine Coast. click here

Loeffler TA & Leather M (2018) Encounters with Technology in Higher Education: Engaging Students using Social Media.  European Institute for Outdoor Adventure Education and Experiential Learning.  Seminar: “The Mediation of Experiences by Technology in the Outdoors Opening or Losing Connections with the world”, 19th – 23rd September 2018, held at CŠOD Bohinj, Slovenia.

Loeffler TA & Leather M (2018) Visualising seascapes: Encounters in Higher Education.  Royal Geographical Society-IBG Annual International Conference, Cardiff. Geography of Leisure and Tourism Research Group and the Coastal and Marine Research Group.

Leather M (2018) A Critique of “Forest School” or something lost in translation. Live online Outdoor Education Seminar 18 at Institute of Technology Tralee, Ireland.   Available at youtu.be/FjMomZbF2vw 

Leather M (2018) A Critique of Forest Schools. Critical Approaches to Outdoor Studies. Cape Breton University Open Online Learning in SPAL 4101.

Leather M, Gibson, K & Lundie, D (2017) Space, Place and Agency in Childhood and Education. British Education Research Association Conference, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK.

Leather M (2017) Living with the sea: Making connections - a personal and professional Heimat.  European Institute for Outdoor Adventure Education and Experiential Learning, Plymouth Marjon University, Plymouth, UK.

Leather M, Hayes T & Prince H (2016) Playfully being outdoors: research, pedagogy and practice. Royal Geographical Society-IBG Annual International Conference, London. Geographies of Children, Youth and Families Research Group. Session Convenor.

Leather M (2016) Playtime: Developing creativity through outdoor education. Presentation at the 7th International Outdoor Education Research Conference, Cape Breton University, Nova Scotia, Canada.  Book of abstracts published ISBN: 1-978-77206-069-0 available from http://www.cbu.ca/ioerc7/proceedings-and-publications/

Leather M (2015) University Programmes in Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning. Invited International Keynote Speaker at The First International Conference on Education - INNOVATION - the role of informal education, including outdoor education in the education and development.  Faculty of Economics and Management, University of Szczecin, Poland.

Leather M (2014) Time to play: developing a pedagogy of play for outdoor learning. Presentation at 
The European Institute for Outdoor Adventure Education and Experiential Learning (EOE) Seminar “Under the open sky: Supporting healthy lifestyle and relationship to nature and society through outdoor engagement in youth work -European perspective, hosted by Association of Nature and Outdoor schools (SNÚ), in cooperation with EOE and The Educational Research Institute of University of Iceland. http://utinam.is/?page_id=576  

Leather M (2013) Lost in translation: A critique of ‘Forest School’ in the UK. Presentation at the 6th International Outdoor Education Research Conference, held at the University of Otago http://www.otago.ac.nz/ioerc2013/programme/

Leather M (2013) The importance of ‘informal talk’ in residential outdoor education: It’s more than the activities. Presentation at the 6th International Outdoor Education Research Conference, held at the University of Otago http://www.otago.ac.nz/ioerc2013/programme/

Nicholls F & Leather M (2013) Enriching student learning: developing a socio-cultural and historical ‘sense of place’ using an experiential pedagogy.  European Institute for Outdoor Adventure Education and Experiential Learning.  Seminar “Urban nature: inclusive learning through youth work and school work”, 5th – 9th June 2013, held at The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences (GIH), Stockholm, Sweden.

Leather M (2012) Seeing the wood from the trees: constructionism and constructivism for outdoor and experiential education.  Philosophical Perspectives in Outdoor Education.  Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain, Edinburgh Branch Conference.

Leather M, Parrott, L & Pettit, E (2011) ‘Improvisation with good intentions’ – Outdoor Practitioners Perspectives on working with disabilitiesPaper presented at 5th International Outdoor Education Research Conference, Denmark.

Selected research by Mark is available on ResearchGate.


Expert Membership of professional bodies

Co-convenor of British Educational Research Association (BERA) Nature, Outdoor Learning and Play (NOLAP) special interest group (SIG) - since 2019. Details click here

Co-convenor of Peninsula Research in Outdoor Learning (PRinOL) a regional research hub for the Institute for Outdoor Learning (IOL). Details click here

Convenor EOE2017 Atmospheres and Narratives for of European Institute for Outdoor Adventure Education and Experiential Learning. Wepage here

Academic committee member and reviewer for the International Outdoor Education Conference 2013, 2016, 2018, 2021

Board member of European Institute for Outdoor Adventure Education and Experiential Learning, 2016-2017

 

Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning.  Reviewer since October 2012.

Journal of Experiential Education. Reviewer since September 2011, Editorial Board member since January 2014.

Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education. Editorial Board member since March 2018. Special Issue co-editor March 2019

Canadian Journal of Environmental Education.  Reviewer since November 2019.

 

Also

  • Fellow Higher Education Academy
  • Institute for Outdoor Learning Accredited Practitioner
  • Member of Mountain Training Assocaition (MTA) - Mountain Leader
  • Member of Royal Yachting Association (RYA) - Dinghy and Powerboat Instructor
  • Member of British Canoeing (BC) - Level 3 Coach


Roles on external bodies

External Examining

Students

2020: University of Dundee, PhD Thesis viva voce, Alexia BarrableA new focus for education?  Nature connection as a goal for all education: Theoretical research and practical perspectives. 

2018: University of Central Lancashire, PhD Thesis viva voce, Carmen Byrne, HEROHEROINE OR OUTCAST? Examiningender identity othe British Adventuring hero. 

2016: University of Edinburgh, PhD Thesis viva voce, Sharifah Intan Sharina Syed Abdullah, An Investigation into the Influence of Outdoor Environmental Education Courses othe Environmental Attitude anBehaviours of Malaysian Participants: A Life History Approach. 

2016: University of Western Sydney, PhD Thesis via examination, Amanda Lloyd, Place-Based Outdoor Learning EnrichinCurriculum: A Case Study in an Australian Primary School. 

 

External Examiner

Programmes

University of Cumbria MA Outdoor and Experiential Learning 2016/17 – current

University of Cumbria MA Transcultural European Outdoor Studies 2016/17 - 2018/19

University of Chichester BA (Hons) Adventure Education 2012/13-2016/17


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