BERA is the British Educational Research Association. Cait Talbot-Landers, Edge Hill University and Bethan Garrett, Lancaster University have written a post for a special issue of the BERA blog: Teachers are doing it for themselves: Developing Beach School approaches to support an effective climate change curriculum.

This is how it begins.

“Zac Goldsmith’s controversial resignation letter in 2023 was interesting for its ‘insider’ revelation about the apathetic attitude of the present political leadership towards the environmental crisis, and the paralysing effect that this is having upon all sections of UK government. This inertia is evident in the leadership that the Department for Education (DfE) is, or rather is not, providing to schools in England. The DfE’s strategy states we should be harnessing ‘children’s passion for the natural world’ (DfE, 2022). However, it is symptomatic of the lack of priority this issue has within the educational agenda that, a year later, most schools in our networks appear not to know of the existence of this strategy. As such, teachers and educators are being forced to take action themselves.

In 2017, we established a Beach School network across the north-west of England. This is a free collaboration of educators, health professionals and environmentalists who all wish to deliver outdoor and environmental education within their local areas. We meet three times a year to: discuss current research and theory; share ideas for practice; work collectively to address problems and barriers; and develop communal understandings of how a Beach School approach could look in our communities. Sessions are led by members’ priorities and concerns, and all involve a practical element, whereby teachers experience the beach environment first-hand. Previous focus points have included sustainability, creative arts, food production and mental health. A key principle is to empower teachers to engage with the beach in a way which suits their own context, helping them to develop a personal rationale for teaching on the beach, as well as supporting them with the tools and knowledge to do so. …”


Other BERA blogs can be accessed here.

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