Dr David A. G. Clarke

Lecturer in Outdoor and Environmental Education


I have a broad range of interests related to outdoor and environmental education in both formal and informal learning situations. I am particularly interested in the potential of ontological shifts for producing healthier relationships in the anthropocene. 

I am the course organiser for Experiential Education and Social Theory and Outdoor Education, within the MSc Outdoor Education and MSc Outdoor Environmental Sustainability Education, where I also contribute to courses in research methods, praxis, and environmental philosophy, and critical perspectives on personal and social development. I have also contirbuted to the Philosophy of Education pathway in the MSc in Education. Futher to this I contribute to primary and secondary initial teacher education programmes across the School.

I completed my PhD at the University of Edinburgh in 2018. Before starting at Moray House I lectured in outdoor studies at the University of the Highlands and Islands, and at Plumpton College, University of Brighton. 

I have worked for a number of organisations focusing on outdoor, adventure, and environmental education in both the private and charitable sectors and have led educational overseas youth expeditions to the Nepalese and Indian Himalayas, China, Mongolia, and Borneo.


  • PhD Education - University of Edinburgh
  • MSc Outdoor Education (with distinction) - University of Edinburgh
  • Postgraduate Certificate of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education - University of Brighton
  • BA (Hons) Adventure Education - University of Chichester


  • Summer Mountain Leader
  • Single Pitch climbing instruction
  • Level 2 British Canoe Union Coach and 4* Leader (trained)
  • Duke of Edinburgh Award Expedition Assessor


Responsibilities & affiliations

Sustainability in Education Research Group

Environmental Sustainability Education Research Development Network

Edinburgh Environmental Humanities Network

Centre for Creative-Relational Inquiry

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Scottish Canoe Association

British Canoeing

Mountain Leader Training England

Undergraduate teaching

PGDE Secondary Outdoor Learning

Postgraduate teaching

  • The Philosophy of Education
  • Research Methods 1: The Sources of Knowledge
  • Research Methods 2: Conceptualising Research
  • Social Theory and Outdoor Education
  • Outdoor Environmental Education in Practice
  • Personal and Social Development in Outdoor Education: Critical Perspectives
  • Experiential Education

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

I view educational research-practice as situated in and necessarily responding to the Anthropocene era. I am hopeful to work with candidates in the following areas:

  • Practice, conceptualisation, and methodology related to environmental education and sustainability education
  • Creative approaches to education research
  • Practitioner inquiry and participatory action research
  • Narrative, autobiographical, and autoethnographic inquiry
  • Philosophical inquiry
  • Alternative ontologies, including  feminist new materialisms and posthumanisms
  • The work of Gilles Deleuze in relation to education and the act of living
  • Research into the methods and methodologies of environmental education research


Current PhD students supervised

Louise Hawxwell - Thesis title: Impact of Early Experiences on Perceptions and Practices of Outdoor Learning in Primary Education Trainees

Research summary

My research interests focus broadly on the blurring of environmental education research-practice, philosophical theory, and life experiences. More specifically I am interested in animism and alternative ontologies; the philosophy of affect in relation to environmental degradation and climate change; immanent ethics and immanent ontology in all areas of education; and creative practices of inquiry for affective encounters, including writing, photography, songwriting, and filmmaking. I am particulalry intersted in the potential of post-autoethnographic or sympoethnographic approaches for taking up these problems, as well as as a conduit for practitioner-world inquiry in the anthropocene more generally.

Current research interests

Current Research Projects: Principles Teaching Award Scheme (PTAS) (2021) (£15k) Keeping the Door Open: Curating, developing and evolving Edinburgh University teaching in spaces and places within the city and beyond Co-Investigator with Beth Christie, Catherine Dunn, Pete Higgins, Robbie Nicol, Heidi Smith

Knowledge exchange

Science Education

Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy

International Journal of STEM Education

History of Education Review

Environmental Education Research

Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning

Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education

Book reviewer for Springer

Book reviewer for Palgrave Macmillan

Affiliated research centres

Research activities

View all 17 activities on Research Explorer

View all 27 publications on Research Explorer

Peer-reviewed Articles

Edited Books:

  • Clarke, D. A. G., & Mcphie, J. (forthcoming). New Materialisms and Environmental Education. Routledge.

Peer-reviewed Book Chapters

Peer-reviewed Reports

  • Kraftl, P., McKenzie, M., Gulson, K., Accioly, I., Blackmore, J., Burke, C., Perrota, C.., Clarke, D.A.G., Daniels, H., Fregoso Bailon, R.O., Goodyear, V., Goodyear, P., Gunasekara, I., Hartong, S., Hickman Dunne, J., Howard. S., Lupinacci, J., Mcphie, J., Mannion, G., Nxumalo, F., Parnell, R., Pykett, J., Ratuio, P., Sefton Green, J., Selwyn, N., Stovall, D., Southgate, E., Talbert, R., Teelucksingh, C., Tucker, R., Uduku, O., Wilson, A. and Wood, A. (2022). ‘Learning spaces: built, natural and digital considerations for learning and learners’ in Bugden, S. and Borst, G. (eds.) Education and the learning experience in Reimagining education: The International Science and Evidence based Education Assessment [Duraiappah, A.K., Atteveldt, N.M. van et al. (eds.)]. New Delhi: UNESCO MGIEP. Available at: https://d1c337161ud3pr.cloudfront.net/files%2F8469b7d1-c42d-446c-97f5-87775cf28f49_ISEE%20Assessment%20-%20Working%20Group%203.pdf


Book Reviews

Other publications:

Clarke, D. A. G. (2019). Practising immanence:(still) becoming an environmental education academic. Unpublished PhD Thesis. University of Edinburgh. Available: https://era.ed.ac.uk/bitstream/handle/1842/35533/Clarke2019.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

Conference Presentations

  • Mcphie, J., Clarke, D. A. G., & Fenton, L. (2021). The Ecology of Language: Concept Conservation and Control in a World of ‘Climate Catastrophe’. RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, Royal Geographical Society,  31st August – 3rd September. London. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rP1hiw9Kpi0&t=1s

  • Clarke, D. A.G (2019). Ecobiography, posthuman-postnature? Immanent life writing in the Anthropocene. 3rd European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, University of Edinburgh, 12-14 Feb 2019.

  • Bittinger, R., Clarke, D.A.G., Erb, J., Hauser, H., & Wyatt, J. (2019). Becoming Intimate-Activist Reader-Writers with Deleuze & Guattari. 3rd European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry. University of Edinburgh, 12-14 Feb 2019.
  • Clarke, D.A.G., & Mcphie, J. (2019). The diffractive practitioners: collaborative writing-thinking-doing with students, concepts, and Walney Island. Environmental Arts Collaboratory hosted by the Biosocial Research Lab. Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK, 22nd January 2019.
  • Bittinger, R., Clarke, D.A.G., Erb, J., Hauser, H., & Wyatt, J. (2018). Becoming Intimate (Readers) with Deleuze & Guattari. European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry. Leuven, Belgium, 9th February, 2018.
  • Guest Speaker, University of Cambridge – 2-5th August, 2016 – ESER Summer School I: Doctoral studies in environmental and sustainability education: contextualizing the process. European Educational Research Association and Homerton College. August 2nd to August 5th at Homerton College, Cambridge.

  • Clarke, D.A.G. (2016). Outdoor Learning and the Material Turn: Considering pedagogies of experience, place and sustainability through new materialist philosophy. Outdoor Environmental Education Research Seminar 2016, Broomlee Outdoor Education Centre, Scottish Borders, 13-15th April, 2016.

  • Mcphie, J, & Clarke, D. A. G. (2014) A walk in the park: Considering practice for environmental education through an immanent take on the ‘material turn’. Under Western Skies conference, Mount Royal University, Calgary, Alberta, CA, 9-13 September 2014.
  • Clarke, D. A. G. (2014). Outdoor Learning and Education for Sustainable Development: What are the links? Institute for Outdoor Learning South East Regional Conference, Plumpton College, Lewes, East Sussex, 19th November, 2014.
  • Clarke, D. A. G (2014) Becoming animate in teacher education: Immanent materialism and Learning for Sustainability. South Downs National Park Student Conference, Midhurst, West Sussex 9th July, 2014