Staff Profiles


Dr Nicola Kemp

Education for Sustainable Futures Lead

School: Sustainability

Campus: Canterbury Main Campus

Tel: 01227 924557

Profile summary

I currently work in the School of Humanities and Education Studies as Director of Graduate Studies. I am also academic lead for research within the University's Academy for Sustainable Futures.  A geographer by background, my research interests are focused on the inter-relationship between education and sustainability across ages and educational phases  Prior to this I worked for ten years within the rural regeneration team at Kent County Council with responsibility for policy and strategic development and I continue to be interested in the policy/research/practice nexus.  Much of my research is focused on children’s relationship with the natural environment and my current Froebel Trust funded research explores outdoor provision for babies and toddlers in early childhood settings.  I am also involved in leading research on the Harmony in Education project.  I supervise both PhD and Ed D students and have developed and led a number of student research internships.  

Research and knowledge exchange

Research Projects

2019-22 Froebel Trust (£20,651) Life in and with nature in the period of earliest childhood: understanding provision for 0-2s in English babyrooms.

2019 A Narrative Enquiry of the Motivations and Barriers Working for an Environmental Education Centre/Sustainability Hub - research commissioned by The Bay Trust

2017-18 HEIF (£4000) Doing it Differently: The place of educational ‘Alternatives’ in the Mainstream

2015-16 Froebel Trust Strategic Partnership Project (£2000) Understanding the therapeutic benefits of engagement with the natural environment within the Dandelion Time Approach

2014-15 (£4000) Academic Business Partnership Kent Wildlife Trust/CCCU Evaluation of Kent Wildlife Trust (KWT) Forest School programme.  

2014-15 Funded research £7300; Artswork Strategic Network Fund (£4700) match funding from Kent Wildlife Trust, CCCU & Stour Valley Arts Project Development of the Connecting Children and Nature Network

Student internships

2019 The place of sustainability education in English primary schools: senior leader perspectives (with the Sustainable Food Trust)

2016 The Purposes of Forest School: Practitioner and Teacher Perspectives (with KWT) 

2015 Young Children’s Experiences of Forest School (with KWT)

Teaching and subject expertise

I am a senior fellow of the Higher Education Academy and have a particular interest in sustainability education. I have been involved in developing the university's Academy for Sustainable Futures.

I currently teach mainly on the MA Education where I lead the core module 'developing criticality' and the specialist 'learning outdoors in early childhood education' module.

I co-lead the outdoor learning research hub within Kent and prior to this set up the Connecting Children & Nature Network for Kent.

I am a member of the European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA) Special Interest Group and am currently working on the development of their position statement.

External activities

Recent conference presentations

September 2019 Babies & Toddler 'being' outside. Paper presented to BERA annual conference, University of Manchester

June 2019 Taming the beast - understanding influence within Sustainability Education. Paper presented to EAUC conference, University of Manchester

March 2019 Welcoming the wicked in Higher Education: The importance of asking ‘what’ and ‘why’ in sustainability reporting. Paper presented to Sustainability Reporting in Higher Education, University of Edinburgh

September 2018 A Duty to Resist: Implementing Earth Education in English Primary Schools. Paper presented to TEESNET Getting to the Heart of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):The Role of Teacher Education in Prompting Critical Engagement & Action, Liverpool Hope University

Other activity

October 2019 Attended Harmony in Practice retreat at Dumfries House, Scotland hosted by HRH The Prince of Wales

May 2018 Attended Harmony event at Duchy Home Farm hosted by Sustainable Food Trust

Publications and research outputs

Josephidou, J.,  Kemp, N. & Durrant, I. (2021) Outdoor provision for babies and toddlers: exploring the practice/policy/research nexus in English ECEC settings European Early Childhood Education Research Journal

Kemp, N & Josephidou, J (2021) Babies and toddlers outdoors: a narrative review of the literature on provision for under twos in ECEC settings Early Years

Kemp, N. and Scoffham, S. (2021), "The paradox model: towards a conceptual framework for engaging with sustainability in higher education", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education ahead-of-print.

Kemp, N & Bolshaw, P. (2020) Early Childhood Education for Sustainability: Transformation through Collaboration.  In Priorizing Sustainability Education.  Armon, Scoffham & Armon (Eds.) Routledge.

Kemp, N (2019) Views from the staffroom: forest school in English primary schools.  Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning, DOI: 10.1080/14729679.2019.1697712

Kemp, N & Pagden, A (2019) The place of forest school in English primary schools: senior leader perspectives.  Education 3-13 47:4, 490-502, DOI: 10.1080/03004279.2018.1499791

Kemp, N (2017) Early Childhood Education for Sustainability. Chapter 21 in Powell, S. & Smith, K. ‘An introduction to early childhood studies’ 4th Edn. London: Sage

Consorte-McCrea, Griggs, C & Kemp, N. (2017) Curriculum review of ESD at CCCU: a case study in health and wellbeing. In Filho, W. L., ed. Implementing Sustainability in the Curriculum of Universities: Approaches, Methods and Projects. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. ISBN 9783319702803

Scoffham, S. & Kemp, N (2015) ‘It’s Contagious! Developing Sustainability Perspectives in Academic Life at a UK University’  Chapter 7  in W. Leal Filho et al. (eds.), Integrating Sustainability Thinking in Science and Engineering Curricula, World Sustainability Series, Springer International Publishing Switzerland

Kemp, N (2015) Building a Partnership for Change: The Connecting Children and Nature Network Local Economy May 2015 30: 361-369


Connect with us

Last edited: 19/11/2020 13:32:00