Pete Higgins




Professor Peter Higgins holds a Personal Chair in Outdoor and Environmental Education at Moray House School of Education at the University of Edinburgh. The department has an international reputation and is one of few in the world with both a practical and teaching orientation as well as substantial research interests in the field of 'learning outdoors'. The focus of the work of the Outdoor Education section is to prepare critically aware professionals to teach within and improve practice in the sector, and also to make a significant contribution to research and knowledge in the field. Peter's national and international contribution has been recognised by the University of Edinburgh through the award of a Personal Chair, the only one in the field in the UK and Europe.

Peter's early career was as an environmental scientist and freshwater biologist before training as a teacher of Outdoor Education and Biology. He holds a wide range of high-level UK and European governing body teaching awards notably in canoeing/kayaking, free-heel skiing and mountaineering, in all of which he retains a strong recreational interest. He has taught at several UK outdoor education centres as well as in New Zealand, and is a member of a number of national and international panels and advisory groups on outdoor and environmental education and education for sustainable development. These include several European Union and UNESCO educational projects and the UK Commision for teh UN. He jointly established and is currently Director of the United Nations 'Regional Centre of Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development' for Scotland.

Peter has also acted in advisory capacity to the UK and Scottish Governments on Outdoor and Environmental Education, access to the countryside and related environmental issues. He is currently Chair of a Scottish Government National Implementation Group on 'Learning for Sustainability' - integrating education for sustainabie development, global citizenship and outdoor education. He is also a member of the SportScotland Trust Board. He has held advisory roles with a wide range of outdoor and environmental educational providers and agencies and has contributed to their continuing professional development.

He is the author of over 100 articles and books relating to these fields. Through individual and collaborative (with other UK and European universities) research grants and consultancy activities he has attracted income of over £1.3M.

He iteaches on a range of Outdoor Education and Environmental Education programmes. Of these, and notable for its 40-year history is the Postgraduate Diploma and Masters degree in Outdoor Education which is unique in Europe and one of the few in the world. It has a high national and international reputation, attracting students from many parts of the world. He teaches both academic and practical aspects of these and other sustainable development and education programmes in the university.

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Jun 22nd 2015

We all have our own understandings of ‘sustainability', of its significance as an environmental, social, economic and moral concept, and as a principle for individual, collective or corporate behaviour. This course begins from your starting point and explores how we might make positive differences to the future of our planet, and encourage others to do so.

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