Mr Benjamin Murphy
- Research Assistant (Pedagogy, Praxis & Faith)
St Andrews House, Glasgow, County
Ben is a research assistant at the School of Education, researching learning for sustainability (LfS), climate education and Global Citizenship Education(GCE). Primarily working on the European 'Walk the Global Walk' project, Ben provides research and administrative support whilst working directly with high schools in Glasgow to faciliate and engage pupils' and teachers' learning on the sustainabile development goals.
Prior to his current role, Ben worked as a support for learning assistant at a community high school, working with pupils with additional support needs through classroom support and running a range of activities in the school garden. Ben has also worked in outdoor education, as a gardener and has taught on 1st/2nd year undergraduate Geography courses whilst completing his Masters by Research in Human Geography (award of distinction). More recently Ben worked as an RA for the Edinburgh Fuures Institute before going on to complete research and learning design post with Highlands and Islands Enterprise's Science Skills Academy where he designed learning materials for STEM engagement officers to deliver outdoor lessons on Peatlands and COP26.
Ben volunteers with Boots n Beards, as a DofE expedition coordinator, assessor and superviser and runs outdoor education workshops with the community group's young people. As a passionate outdoors volunteer and mountain leader, Ben loves engaging and inspiring people of all backgrounds to learn about, and enjoy, our natural world.
I have been researching human-nature relationships since 2017. My interets were founded in phenomenology and Non-representational theory where I became fascinated by the way humans interact with the natural environment. I explored how trail running fosters a deeper multisensory relationship between human and environment. Using creative methods, such as video-ethnography, auto-ethnography and go-along interviews, and experiementing in research display through using poetry, collage and video, I produced a creative and non-representational undergrad dissertation.
Following this, whilst completing a MScR in Human Geography, I utilised digital methods to understand and contextualise the global rise in ultra-marathon running. Using digital ethnograhy, online interviews and media analysis I tied the rise of ultra running to the western neoliberal agenda, exploring the links between body, society and nature. I used Non-representational theory to analyse the practice of ultra running trhough a case study of the Cape Wrath Ultramarathon. You can read more here: geographyrunning.blog
I also have research interests in urban active travel. Whilst conducting research for the Edinburgh Futures institute I developed an interest in the policy and infrastructre barriers to active travel, researching european responses, in urban deisgn, to the Covid-19 pandemic.
I am now more interested in how we can get more people out and enjoying our natural world, particuarly children and minority groups. My work with Boots n Beards has led to interest in issues of accesibility and inclusivity in the outdoors, where I want to further understand the barriers to, and solutions for, a more inclusive 'outdoors'.