NAEE began its Fellows scheme in 2017 to recognise the significant contribution that individuals are making to environmental education through their work and so that the Association can work closely with them to further support and encourage environmental education in the UK.

The first NAEE Fellows are:

  • Tim Baker, Charlton Manor School, Greenwich
  • Melissa Glackin, King’s College, London
  • Elsa Lee, University of Cambridge
  • Phillip Murphy, University of Leeds

Tim Baker has been Head teacher of Charlton Manor primary school for 12 years. He is a board member of the School Food Plan Alliance, the National Childhood Measurement Programme, the RHS Education Committee, and the London Food Board.  He passionately believes that children learn best when they are engaged and enjoying what they are doing, and has found that, through gardening and cooking, behaviour is much improved and this impacts greatly on attainment.

Charlton Manor includes gardening and cooking throughout the curriculum and children have hugely benefited from this.  Added to this they are both great activities for encouraging community engagement, and parents as well as the local community are frequently supporting the school in these areas.  The school works with European schools and is helping a German school develop a garden. It also works with others in India, China, Africa and Nepal where it leads in food growing projects.  Charlton Manor has also started working with a charity in Malawi where it is developing a community garden.  The school also works with a local farm educating children in farming as well as growing food there on one of the schools’ three community gardens to increase its yield for its teaching kitchen and to sell to a local restaurant.  The school keeps bees and produces its own honey and keeps chickens for their eggs.  Tim and two members of staff have formed a charity called Roots4life which aims to connect people and particularly children with the outdoors.

Dr Melissa Glackin is lecturer in science education in the School of Education, Communication and Society at King’s College London. Melissa’s research and teaching interests include teaching and learning science outside the classroom, teachers’ beliefs and self-efficacy, in-service and pre-service teacher professional development and outdoor science and environmental education curriculum development. She teaches on the Master’s Science Education programme, the secondary Post Graduate Certification in Education programme (PGCE) where she ensures all science trainees experience a residential field course, she is subject director for the Biology secondary science programme and supervises PhD candidates in topics relating to learning inside and outside the classroom.

Over the past decade Melissa has worked on several outdoor learning projects including: the Field Studies Council’s (FSC) London Outdoor Science project (fua.field-studies-council.org), the FSC’s Schools in the Park project, and the Primary Science Teaching Trust funded Thinking Outside the Classroom programme. She is currently working on a British Academy / Leverhulme funded project mapping environmental education in English secondary, is looking forward to sharing these findings with NAEE members.

Dr Elsa Lee is an educationalist with a longstanding interest and expertise in environmental issues.  She has worked as a researcher at the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education for the past three years as part of an interdisciplinary team on a project entitled Pathways to Understanding the Changing Climate (ow.ly/XMtR30aWi3d), funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) in the United Kingdom.  The findings from the Pathways Project about attachment to place and intercultural engagement (already reported in Environmental Education Vol 114) are useful in the context of the Aller River Pilot Project (ARRP) in Southern Africa, and we have follow on funding from the AHRC for Phase 2 of the ARRP.  Elsa will be working on this project and she hopes that the knowledge that is gained from this work will be useful in similar situations in different cultural and ecological contexts where waterways require rehabilitation and communities can be engaged to support this process.   Elsa is also working on a project that explores the interconnections between nature, art and childhood as they emerge in the work of an arts-based charity.

Elsa is co-convenor of the Environmental and Sustainability Research Network (ESER) for the European Educational Research Association and a member of the English Learning for Sustainability Alliance (ELSA).  Prior to taking up her academic research post at the University of Cambridge Elsa studied for a doctorate at the University of Bath where she was also involved in various research projects in the field of Environmental Education. This period of study was preceded by a successful career teaching science in secondary schools in the United Kingdom and Mexico.

Dr Phil Murphy is a lecturer and admissions tutor in the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds.  His role includes responsibility for schools outreach and engagement with a particular focus on widening participation in the environmental sciences sector.  One of the best parts of the job is working with final year students who have chosen the module: environment and geology into schools.  In this module they undertake a placement in a school or other educational institution working on an aspect of environmental education.  Over the years Phil has placed students with the urban farm, in nursery, primary and high schools, and in environmental charities all promoting environmental understanding. Many students have progressed on to careers in environmental education.

As a geologist Phil researches Ice Age environmental change records as preserved in caves, and as an educator he has a particular interest in understanding young people’s misconceptions and misunderstandings in science and environmental education.  He is a regular contributor to practitioner journals and work closely with colleagues in Malawi and Egypt to support geo-environmental education.