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Stephen Pickering

Course Leader for Primary & Outdoor Education, Senior Lecturer in Primary Education: Geography

Institute of Education

Contact Details


tel: 01905 542080

MA in Education (Distinction)
PGCert in Higher Education
PGCE Geography with English subsidiary
BA (Hons) 2:1 Geography

Forest School Leader


Stephen taught in a range of schools over a period of fifteen years, including teaching abroad, before working as the Education for Sustainable Development Officer for Worcestershire District Council. He joined the University on a part-time basis from 2003 and full time from 2005. Stephen is Course Leader of the Primary and Outdoor Education BA (Hons) degree. He also lectures on the BA (Hons) Primary Teacher Training route and also on the PGCE in Primary Education. Stephen still seeks the opportunity to teach in primary schools and has also worked with children in schools and here at the university on a number of different programmes and experiences. He liaised with Worcestershire County Council, for example, to work with gifted and talented children from Government target schools (those with low economic indicators) on a series of programmes and initiatives, one of which was written up in a special report for the Times Educational Supplement (January 2009). He is very interested in global citizenship and education issues and has worked with TIDE (Teachers in Development Education) and the National Environment Agency of The Gambia to develop materials and publications to teach sustainability, climate change and geography both in England and in The Gambia. Stephen is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of, and a consultant for, the Geographical Association where he is on the editorial board of Primary Geography. As a consultant for the Geographical Association he is occasionally invited to support initiatives and schemes, the last one of which was working as a geographical researcher for the BBC series, Through Their Eyes.

Stephen has taught on a wide range of interesting courses here including Primary and Outdoor Education, Geography (PGCE and Undergraduate) Pedagogy and Management, Professional Studies, Foundation Subjects, Beyond the Classroom, English. He has taught alongside other lecturers across the University on the, ‘What is Inspirational Teaching’ course since 2008. Stephen won a student award for best module for Year 2 Professional Studies when he was module leader for that in 2008 and In 2013 and 2015 he won the Student Union Award for Best Module, as voted by the Institute of Education students for the Undergraduate geography course.

Stephen has written widely for Teaching Geography, Primary Teaching, Primary Geography, Development Education Review, Tide and Routledge. He is currently engaged in PhD research through the Universitat zu Koln where he is investigating the influence that children¹s literature has on their perception of place and culture. Stephen was presented the 'Geographical Associations Award for Excellence in Leading Geography in 2013' by Dame Ellen MacArthur at a recent ceremony in Derby.

Teaching & Research

Teaching & Research

Teaching Interests

Professional Studies
The global dimension
Global citizenship
Valuing place
Gifted and Talented
Teaching through stories
Module leader for PITE2001 awarded the Student Recognition Award for Promoting Learning 2009/2010

Research Interests

Climate Change
Developing World Issues and how they are tackled in the classroom
Valuing Places – how a sense of place is key to a child’s learning and development

Professional Bodies

Professional Bodies

Worcestershire County Council
Geographical Association
Core member of TIDE (Teachers in Development Education)
Forest School Association
Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts



Editor of Primary Geography (Geographical Association)

Scoffham S. (2013) Teaching Geography Creatively. London, Routledge. Chapter 13

A Message To Johannesburg, TIDE publications 2002

Lessons in Sustainability, TIDE publications 2003

Food and Farming, TIDE publications 2004

Journal articles

Pickering (2013) Happy Places. Teach Primary

Mycock, D. Norman, W,. Pickering, S.(2012) Blind Futsol: the beautiful geographical game. Primary Geography No. 7

Bracken, S., Dart, G., & S. Pickering (2011) Evolution or revolution? An analysis of the changing faces of development education in the United Kingdom, in Development Education Review Issue 12.

Pickering 2 (2007) Learning in Partnership, Primary Geographer No.62

It’s Boring Here – Teaching Geography Vol. 30 No 1 2005Learning in Partnership – Primary Geographer No 62 2007

What do children really learn? A discussion to investigate the effect that school partnerships have on children's understanding, sense of values and perceptions of a distant place GTIP Geog Ed Vol 2. Issue 1 (2008)

Philosophically gifted? – Primary Geographer No 64 2007Mama Panya’s Pancakes – Primary Geographer No 71 2010

Mess, Mess, Glorious Mess. Messines and the pedagogy of deeper thinking (Pickering and Catling) Primary Geographer 2010.

Work on Gifted and Talented children from areas of social and economic deprivation highlighted in a main article in the TES Jan 21st 2011. “University? Like school only worse”


Pickering, S (Ed) (2017) Teaching Outdoors Creatively. London: Routledge

Book Chapters

Pickering, S. (2017) Without Walls. From Charney to President. In S. Catling (Ed.). Reflections on Primary Geography. (pp.28-36) Sheffield: The Register of Research in Primary Geography.

Pickering, S. (2017) Valuing Learning Outdoors in Cremin, T. and Arthur, J (Ed) Learning to Teach in the Primary School. 4th Edition. London: Routledge

Pickering, S. (2017) Everyday Places and Spaces. In Pickering, S (Ed) (2017) Teaching Outdoors Creatively. London: Routledge

Pickering, S (2017) The Future Outdoors. In Pickering, S (Ed) (2017) Teaching Outdoors Creatively. London: Routledge

Scoffham S (ed) (2013) Teaching Geography Creatively. London, Routledge. Chapter 13: Keeping Geography Messy

External Responsibilities

External Responsibilities

Coordinates & manages many regional based CPD and curriculum development projects
Regional Coordinator for Valuing Places project
Worcestershire Primary Geography Champion
Consultant for the Geographical Association
Editorial board of Primary Geographer – currently editor on a rotating programme
Advisory Board member of the National ESRC funded project (University of Exeter) Global Partnerships as Sites for Mutual Learning: Teachers’ Professional Development Through Study Visit Courses
External examiner for the University of Chester