Teaching Guidelines

These guidelines for schools and tertiary institutions are OEA’s recommended standards for professional outdoor education teachers.

Please note:

  • It is recognised that there are many outstanding teachers of Outdoor Education who do not meet these guidelines
  • It is not the intention of Outdoor Education Australia to dissuade those teachers that do not meet these guidelines from pursuing the teaching of Outdoor Education
  • These guidelines are not intended for those teachers that wish to use outdoor education methodology (e.g. field trips, site visits, experiential learning) within their subject area
  • Professional development for the above teachers may be useful to improve practice.

Teaching Senior Secondary Outdoor Education or Outdoor and Environmental Studies:

  • A minimum of one year equivalent of tertiary study in Outdoor Education, plus studies in Outdoor Education pedagogy, and satisfactory completion of a teaching practicum.

Teaching Middle and Primary School Outdoor Education:

  • A minimum of six months of tertiary study in Outdoor Education, plus studies in Outdoor Education pedagogy and satisfactory completion of a teaching practicum.

This may take the form of:

  • An undergraduate degree in Outdoor Education. This is highly desirable
  • An undergraduate degree in another discipline (such as Psychology, Physical Education, Science, Arts, Aboriginal Studies, History, etc), but with a major field of study of Outdoor Education within the program
  • A qualified teacher that holds a VET based qualification in Outdoor Recreation at a minimum of Certificate IV level, supplemented by additional studies in Outdoor Education philosophy and pedagogy, and satisfactory completion of a teaching practicum.

One year of study in Outdoor Education should include:

1. Discipline study

Discipline study:

  • The educational potential of outdoor experience for personal and group development, sustainability and social justice
  • Human interaction with natural environment including philosophical approaches to adventure and nature, environmental ethics, sense of place study, natural history and Indigenous relationships with the environment
  • Outdoor activity knowledge
  • Ecological literacy
  • Safety management

2. Skill areas

Skill areas to include:

  • Outdoor Leadership
  • Camping and camp management
  • Activity skills to lead in easy environments in 2 or more outdoor activities. Bushwalking and Canoeing/Kayaking are the most popular activities in schools and these are highly recommended. Additional depth of skills to lead groups in semi-remote environments desirable. Additional activity skills also desirable to support a broad program
  • Organisation
  • Risk management planning.

3. Outdoor Education Pedagogy

Outdoor Education Pedagogy

  • Environmental interpretation
  • Experiential education facilitation
  • Outdoor Education programming and sequencing
  • Structuring learning episodes including provision of feedback, assessment and reflection.

4. Teaching Practicum

Teaching Practicum

  • At a recognised educational institution
  • Mentored by an experienced and qualified Outdoor Education Teacher
  • 80 hours for early childhood, primary and middle school
  • 120 hours for senior secondary school.