Place Based Learning

Reef Magic Education is promoting “place based learning” pedagogy to encourage opportunities for students and teachers to connect to the local reef systems of the Cairns region, focusing on the local community as a primary resource for leanings.

The reef education programs highlight the social, cultural, environmental and economic benefits of the reef landscape and encourage students and teachers to look at the larger process of analyzing and interpreting the Great Barrier Reef as the larger entity.

The Reef Magic Education programs present opportunities for engaging with a variety of individuals and local stakeholders within the community to actively participate in discovering and sharing information about the local reef landscape.

The programs are hands on project based, promoting vibrant opportunities for students and teachers to connect with the local reef community and learn in a deep and lasting way.


  • Create a space for relevant and applicable learning for local reef landscapes
  • Opportunities to learn about “your” place, be that locally or globally, to encourage and foster personal connections and understandings about an individual’s role in a community that can last a lifetime.


  • Promote a greater understanding of local communities and stakeholders who work and have direct connections to the Great Barrier Reef
  • Participate with local community members and stakeholders enriching the community renewal to enhance hands on reef education and research programs
  • Center a curriculum, specific to local reef systems that integrates content and highlights the focus on local communities
  • Place-based projects are integrated back into classroom lessons
  • Invite creative and action based teaching and learning opportunities
  • Promote larger and more authentic based questions for teachers and students and connections to the awareness of community based partnerships


Create momentum in fostering inquisitiveness and engagement for:

  • What does the reef landscape mean to you and for you?
  • Have you ever been to the Great Barrier Reef before?
  • What do you know about the Great Barrier Reef?
  • Are you aware of your local community connections to the Great Barrier Reef based on the social, cultural, environmental and economic relationships?


Reef Magic Education is more than simply a learning program outside of the classroom, it is an intentional engagement tool focused on structured learning’s within the reef systems of Cairns. The hands on education and research projects promote exploration and a sense of adventure and new understandings that will create a lifetime of memories.

Further Information, please view the following pages:

Outer Reef Research Field Trips

Fitzroy Island research Field Trip

Curriculum Links

Career Pathways

What to bring

Risk Assessment