1st Edition

The Ocean, Blue Spaces and Outdoor Learning

Edited By Mike Brown Copyright 2024
    272 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores the educational dimension of people’s engagement with the ocean. Across formal, informal, and nonformal learning contexts, it examines how experiences of the ocean and ‘blue spaces’ help us to understand ourselves, others, and our place within the natural environment, and the place of the ocean in our sociocultural and political life.

    Drawing on creative projects from around the world, the book introduces topics as diverse as ocean sailing, migrants’ experiences of learning to surf, experiencing seascapes through sounds, and the importance of fostering connections with the sea. It provides examples of innovative teaching and learning practices, and the pedagogical possibilities that engagement with the ocean offers to outdoor studies scholars and practitioners in terms of education, and the enhancement of our well-being and the environment.

    This is fascinating reading for advanced students, researchers, teachers, and educational practitioners with an interest in outdoor studies, experiential and outdoor learning, leisure and recreation studies, environmental studies, or geography.

    Part I: Blue Space: Connections, Community, and Well-being


    1. Surfing, Ocean Identities, and Well-being in Aotearoa New Zealand

    Belinda Wheaton


    2. Learning to Surf: Women Migrants’ Stories of Engaging with the Ocean

    Charlotte Jelleyman and Barbara Humberstone


    3. Recounting Encounter: Ocean Swimming, Multispecies Ecologies, and More-than-ocean-literacies

    Rebecca Olive


    4. Drawn Together by the Sea: Wild Swimming, Waves, and Well-being

    Charlotte Bates and Kate Moles


    5. The Deep Blue: Learning from Wilderness Experiences in Ocean Sailing

    Mark Orams


    6. Water Symphonies: Teaching Silent Soundscapes and Tranquillity

    Tuva B. Broch, Rose Keller, and Evi Petersen


    7. A Polluted Leisure Pedagogy in Seascape Wastelands

    Clifton Evers


    8. Children’s Active Living by the Sea: New Coastal Environments in Denmark

    Søren Andkjær and Jan Arvidsen


    9. Cultures of Managing Hazard and Play: Guarding Life in the Littoral Zone

    Jon Anderson and Dan Sorley


    Part II: Experiencing Blue Spaces in Educational Settings


    10. Sail Training: Perspectives of Sea Going Staff

    Eric Fletcher and Heather Prince


    11. Setting Sail to Response-ability: Sail Training through and for the Sea

    Alun Morgan and Mike Brown


    12. We Sail for Stories: Fifty Years of the Blue Humanities at Sea Education Association (SEA)

    Jeff Wescott, Richard King and Erin Bryant


    13. All at Sea: Living the Tension of Mobility and Place

    Chris Loynes


    14. Visualising Seascapes: Encounters in Higher Education

    Mark Leather and TA Loeffler


    15. Students of the Sea: Tauira O Te Moana

    Mark Jones, Charlotte Jelleyman and Mike Brown


    16. Tēnā koe (that is you): Meeting the Ocean Dwelling Other

    David Irwin, Adam Brasell, Raquelle De Vine, and Rachael Pelvin




    Mike Brown is Associate Professor of Outdoor Learning at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT), New Zealand. His research and teaching interests have been in the area of learning in outdoor contexts with a particular focus on the marine environment. He has co-edited Seascapes: Shaped by the Sea (with Barbara Humberstone) and Living with the Sea: Knowledge, Awareness and Action (with Kimberley Peters). He has several commercial maritime qualifications and is an active sailor and kayaker. He serves on the board of several charitable trusts that provide outdoor experiences to young New Zealanders.