Going with/against the flow: the challenges of an authentic marine science education

Alan Reid, Harry Breidahl

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


In this chapter, the authors discuss the key features of an immersive marine science education. They argue it is characterized by a range of qualities that focus on generating authentic experiences during teaching and learning about marine science. To illustrate those qualities, the authors draw on a case study of a long-standing and well-received pre-service teacher education unit at Monash University, in Victoria, Australia. In brief, they argue that an exemplary marine science education affords the possibility of achieving the following for teachers and learners; it: Engages what is of interest to them, involves them in some way that can lead to some 'surpassing' (e.g. of ignorance or misunderstanding), allows them to affirm and exercise imagination and offers opportunities for interaction (e.g. with the experience, others and/or their surroundings). The chapter starts with a sketch of the key features of the context for marine science education in Victoria. It then offers a rich description of the key design features of the unit, including how it was redesigned to support the development of the aforementioned qualities. The chapter concludes with a discussion and reflection on two key lessons from the authors' experience. First, considerations of what constitutes 'necessary experience' in marine science education; and second, how to address challenges to drawing on perspectives from curriculum design, philosophy of education, and experiential education in marine science education, particularly when such work goes against the flow of mainstream approaches in schools and pre-service teacher education.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExemplary Practices in Marine Science Education
Subtitle of host publicationA Resource for Practitioners and Researchers
EditorsGéraldine Fauville, Diana L. Payne, Meghan E. Marrero, Annika Lantz-Andersson, Fiona Crouch
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9783319907789
ISBN (Print)9783319907772
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Authentic experience
  • Curriculum design
  • Experiential education
  • Immersive education
  • Ocean literacy

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