Honorary Fellow

  • Moray House School of Education and Sport, ISPEHS
  • University of Edinburgh

Contact details



St Leonard's Land

Moray House School of Education
Post code


My main interests are around values and experiential learning. I am particularly interested in expeditions and the kinds of experiences that people report to be significant. My research is primarily qualitative and/or philosophical in nature although in recent years I have collaborated with others to undertake mixed methods research. My research was entered in RAE 2001, 2008 and REF 2014. In 2016 I moved to the USA and was no longer eligible for inclusion in REF. 

Knowledge exchange regarding expeditions is an area that I am committed to and in 2011 co-founded expeditionresearch.co.uk for this purpose. More recently I have been working with students and organisations to undertake research projects (recently on cross cultural expeditions in the Desert and through sailing and on volunteer motivations).

Most of my work is with post graduate students (MSc and PhD). I am committed to high quality engaging teaching and learning, addressing inequality, widening participation and education that inspires.

Recent research has been on:

  • Connecting Cultures (Oman) is a UNESCO, Al Jaber and Sultan Quaiboos Diwan Royal Court funded project. I am working on research on cross cultural education through journeys in the Sharqiya sands with young people. In 2014 we signed a Memorandum of Understanding and continue to collaborate on curriculum development and research.  This connects to my work with with Prof Tim Stott, Liverpool John Moore's University.
  • Sail Training - I have a strong relationship with Sail Training International and advise them on research and youth development (with Dr Kris Von Wald, Learning and Change Consulting).
  • Personal Development on youth expeditions. (with Prof Tim Stott).
  • Tempus Project three year project working to develop Quality Assurance mechanisms in Universities in Kosovo (with Dr Tina Harrison, Assistant Principal, Quality Assurance).
  • British Association of Snowsport Instructors (BASI) - I lead a collaboration to credit rate all of their courses using the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) (with Andrew Maile and Andrew Horrell).
  • Outward Bound Peacebuilding (New York)





Responsibilities & affiliations

Fellow - Royal Geographical Society

Fellow – Young Explorers Trust (inaugural Fellow)

Fellow – Higher Education Academy

Fellow – The Explorers Club of New York

Fellow - British Exploring Society (inaugural Fellow)

Postgraduate teaching

PhD Supervision and Research.

I am now part time and can also be contacted on peteallison@psu.edu  

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

 PhD and EdD Examining:

  • 2017 Eric Fletcher, Newcastle University, UK
  • 2015 Andrew Freeman, University of Greenwich, UK
  • 2014 Stephen Ritchie, University of Laurentian, Canada
  • 2014 Loel Collins, University of Central Lancaster, UK
  • 2012 Randall Williams, University of Exeter, UK
  • 2011 Susanna Ho, La Trobe University, Australia 
  • 2010, Geoff Platt, The University of Edinburgh, UK
  • 2008 Shirley Gray, The University of Edinburgh, UK
  • 2008, Christine Nash, The University of Edinburgh, UK
  • 2006 Colin Beard, Sheffield Hallam University, UK
  • 2003 Tracey Dickson, University of Queensland, Australia
  • 2002 Mike Brown, University of Wollongong, Australia

Current PhD students supervised

  • The effect of formal leadership on board on developing interpersonal skills among trainees during sail training     (Kotryna Grinkeviciutes – Lithuania)
  • Qatari undergraduate students in education city: An exploration of how cultural and religious factors influence student success           (Mohammad Alkuwari – Qatar)
  • The effect of formal leadership on sport teams on developing employability skills among athletes (Maria Jose Ramirez – Chile)
  • An Experiential Approach to Cross Cultural Education — drawing on the case study of sail training (Yujun Xu – China)
  • Developing through Skiing: Teaching learning and pedagogy (Lesley Page – UK)
  • Understanding the role of built and natural features within person-place bonding at a local nature center (Maz Olsen – USA)
  • An ecological systems analysis of the golf industry (Brian Soule – USA)
  • Northern Iranian women’s perception of empowerment and the impact of tourism development (Yeganeh Aghazamani - Iran)

Past PhD students supervised

  • Aaron Marshall- Virtue Ethics and long term inpact of Sail Training
  • Charles Silvane- A moral philosophical perspective on citizenship education
  • Matthew Pearce- Characterising time outside and physical activity of children using GPS
  • Mark William Baker- Curriculum for Excellence through Outdoor Learning: A policy analysis
  • Susan Ahrens- Sport, homelessness and poverty
  • Mark Baker- Policy development of outdoor education in Scotland
  • Iain Stewart-Patterson- The Role of Intuition in the Decision Process of Expert Ski Guides

Research summary

  • Values and Experiential Learning
  • Youth Development through Sail Training
  • Cross Cultural Education through experiential learning
  • Expeditions for youth development
  • Post Expedition Adjustment and reverse culture shock
  • Kurt Hahn, John Dewey
  • Historical developments of experiential adventure learning
  • Aristotle (especially Phronesis)
  • Ethical dilemmas in outdoor and experiential education
  • Personal Development and adventure learning

Current research interests

Cross Cultural Education Philosophy of experiential learning peacebuilding adventure education outdoor education

Affiliated research centres

Project activity

Expeditions Patagonia

I have led expeditions to Greenland, central Asia, the Himalayas and Africa:

Leader and Researcher, Connecting Cultures, Oman, 2012, 2014, 2015 (x2), 2017

Reconnaissance, Indian Himalaya 2012 

Chief Leader BSES SW Greenland 2009

Reconnaissance leader SW Greenland BSES 2009

Reconnaissance leader NE Greenland BSES 2007

Expedition Leader Cycling Tibet, Everest, Nepal 2003

Chief Leader BSESE Ladakh 2001

Expedition Leader: Kilimanjaro 2001

Deputy Chief Leader BSES West Greenland 2000

Reconnaissance Ladakh 2000

Reconnaissance leader West Greenland BSES 1999

Expedition leader: Kilimanjaro 1998

Co-leader Himalayan Hand-Cycle Expedition 1997

Chief Mountaineer BSES SW Greenland 1997

Group leader NE Greenland 1990        

YSES Kenya 1989

BSES NE Greenland 1988

Past project grants

2014 Sustainable structures on quality assurance, international relations and student support services at the newly founded Public University Haxhi Zeka.
2014 Scottish Government, SCQF Credit rating.
2013 British Exploring Society. Principal Investigator.
2013 BASI PI. SCQF Credit Rating.
2012 A Longitudinal Study Investigating Student Perspectives on Generic Research Methods Courses PTAS. Co PrincipaI Investigator.
2012 British Schools Exploring Society. Principal Investigator.
2009 Consultant to Sail Training International. Self Assessment Toolkit.
2007 Scottish Natural Heritage & Scottish National Parks. Principal Investigator.
2005 Sail Training International. Co Principal Investigator.
2003 Development Trust Research Fund. Principal Investigator.
2001 Scottish Natural Heritage. Principal Investigator.

View all 63 publications on Research Explorer

Please note that the publications list should include the following:

Allison, P. (2017 – in press). Behavioral and Group Management Trends and Issues in the UK. In A. Ewert & C. Davidson (Eds.), Behavior and Group Management in Outdoor Adventure Education: Theory, Research, and Practice. London: Routledge.

Dettweiler, U. & Allison, P. (2017 – in press). Outdoor Education/Experiential Learning in the USA. In W. Michl (Ed.) Handbuch der Erlebnispädagogik (Handbook of Experiential Learning).

Allison, P. (2017 – in press). History of adventure programming: Great Britain [UPDATE]. In S. Priest & M. Gass (Eds.) Effective leadership in adventure programming (pp. 31-33). Illinois: Human Kinetics.

Allison, P. & Seaman, J. (2016). Experiential Education. Encyclopaedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory. Springer.

Allison, P. (2016). Six waves of outdoor education and still in a state of confusion: Dominant thinking and category mistakes. Kwartalnik Pedagogiczny (The Pedagogical Quarterly), 2(240), 176-184.

Wurdinger, S. & Allison, P. (2017). Faculty perception and use of experiential learning in higher education. Journal of E Learning and Knowledge Society. 13(1), 27-38.

Schijf, M., Allison, P. & Von Wald, K. (2017 – IN PRESS). Sail training: A systematic review. Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education and Leadership.

Thorburn, M. & Allison, P. (2017) Learning outdoors and living well? Conceptual prospects for enhancing curriculum planning and pedagogical practices, Cambridge Journal of Education, 47(1), 103-115. DOI: 10.1080/0305764X.2015.1118438

Stott, T., Allison, P., Von Wald, K. & Fakunle, O. (2016). Exploring factors influencing outcomes of a five-week youth expedition in the Himalayas using the sail training programme self-assessment toolkit. Acta Universitatis Carolinae Kinanthropologica 52(2), 56-74.DOI: 10.14712/23366052.2016.11

Fraser, K., Richards, H. & Allison, P. (2016). Sailing across the North Sea: The development of trust in a short-term high intensity environment. Acta Universitatis Carolinae Kinanthropologica 52(1), 67-84.

Hoffmanova, J., Sebek, L., Allison, P., Maina, M. & Toogood, J. (2016). The struggle for individuality: Investigating long-term pursuit of a lifestyle sport activity. Acta Gymnica, 46(2), 97-104. DOI: 10.5507/ag.2016.007

Fakunle, L., Allison, P. & Fordyce, K. (2016). Chinese postgraduate students’ perspectives on developing critical thinking on a UK Education Masters. Journal of Curriculum and Teaching, 5(1), 27-38. DOI: 10.5430/jct.v5n1p27

Veevers, N. & Allison, P. (2016). Back to roots: An historical account of the development of Outdoor Education centred on Kurt Hahn pre 1944. Outward Bound International Journal 8-12.

Allison, P., Anderson, S. & Horrell, A. (2017). Adventures in credit rating. Teaching Matters. Accessed 12 February 2017 from http://www.teaching-matters-blog.ed.ac.uk/?p=1357  

Horrell, A., Renouf, D., Henderson, R., Allison, P., Anderson, S. & Fraser, K. (2016). An insight into how the alignment process is constructed and how its relevance to BASI courses. BASI news. Issue 122, pp. 28–33.



2016. Keynote: International affairs: Current Issues and trends, Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) and American Snowboard of Snowboard Instructors annual conference, Frisco, Colorado.

2016. Keynote: Transferable and meaningful learning: BASI case study, Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) and American Snowboard of Snowboard Instructors annual conference, Frisco, Colorado.

2016. Research Informed Practice, Practice Informed Research: Building a Cumulative Body of Knowledge, 8th Annual Trends and Issues in Outdoor Education Programs, Minneapolis.

2016. Overlooked and misunderstood. Annual Association for Experiential Education Conference, Minneapolis.

2016. Keynote: The Grande Passion. Faculty of Physical Culture, Palacký University Olomouc, Czech Republic.