National Teaching Fellow 2010
Peter was educated at the University of Bradford and has spent much of his career there. Now Director of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) for the university's ecoversity project, Peter has led pioneering work on whole institutional engagement with ESD across all subject areas. Directing the multi-million pound Ecoversity StuDent project he has promoted student engagement through three curricula - formal, informal and an outdoor curriculum through developing the university campus as a learning resource.
Peter was aware from his early work in the mid 1990s in his own discipline of environmental science that students respond powerfully to active and practical learning activities linked to their immediate interests and future employability. One of his early students commented:
"Peter's teaching was so different from anyone else at the time - It was great fun and we had a lot of laughs as we explored water consumption in various toilet facilities or checked up on staff who had left lights and computers on. Most of what I learnt then I still find valuable today."
Today Peter's work transcends the traditional boundaries of geography and environmental subjects and has now developed innovative approaches to embedding ESD in subjects as diverse as pharmacy, midwifery, software engineering, social work, law and chemistry. His work on the informal curriculum has mobilised students from across the University into participation in many different events, projects and activities - described as 'inspirational' at a recent UUK meeting of VCs.
This work has been recognised nationally through the prestigious Times Higher Award for Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development' and two HE Green Gown awards - for whole institutional change and for curriculum. As a key priority for HEFCE and HEA, Peter's work has demonstrated that with innovation, enterprise and creativity ESD can be made relevant and interesting to staff and students in any discipline. Peter is currently leading the educational design for of a new £5 million Sustainability Education Centre (The sectors first BREEAM outstanding building) to create a world class indoor and outdoor facility to engage and inspire students, staff, local communities and national and international visitors about and for sustainable development.