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Dr Duncan Reavey

Principal Lecturer Learning & Teaching. National Teaching Fellow. | 01243 812008


Duncan is Principal Lecturer Learning and Teaching, working in both Education and Adventure Education and promoting best practice in learning and teaching across the whole university.


Duncan has a PGCE in Primary Education and enjoyed stimulating teaching times with the children in years 1 and 5. In the Institute of Education, he leads modules on primary school Science, science and society, outdoor learning, and school and community-based projects in which trainee teachers are challenged to make real change happen.

Duncan established University of Chichester’s Forest School which delivers engaging outdoor learning to university students from a range of departments and CPD for schools, and leads a range of Chichester courses in Lanzarote.

Duncan received the Thomas Henry Huxley Medal for his research in ecology. He has published widely on ecology, ecological education and innovations in university teaching, and co-authored the textbook Global Environmental Change: Plants, Animals and Communities. His latest paper - on learning science concepts by teaching peers – is in the Journal of the Learning Sciences.

Duncan was awarded a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship in recognition of excellence in innovative university teaching. In 2016 he was the university’s Lecturer of the Year at the student-led SU Teaching Awards, and in 2017 won the national TEAN Commendation for Innovative Practice in Teacher Education. He was shortlisted as Most Innovative University Teacher at the national Times Higher Education Awards 2017.


His academic interests and teaching approaches have been shaped by diverse times as a student in Oxford, Khartoum, York and Harvard, and as a lecturer in York, KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) and Chichester. Why learn just the theory when so much more can come from living the experience? Duncan puts this into practice in courses which are hands-on and minds-on immersion, with students often challenged to deliver end products they think are impossible.

The end products can be anything from a live video conference link or a web-based library of “One Minute Wonder” science movies to a stage performance for an academic conference or a compilation of poems about the chemical elements.

More than ever, his classes bring to life the principle that hearts-on engagement really matters if students are to choose to make good use of their learning. Sunset campfires on a Lanzarote beach (really!) and planting trees on bleak winter days really do matter.