Outdoor Education (OE) focuses on learning about self, others and the environment
These guidelines for schools and tertiary institutions are OEA’s recommended standards for professional outdoor education teachers.
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
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
2. Skill areas
Skill areas to include:
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
Risk management planning.
3. Outdoor Education Pedagogy
Outdoor Education Pedagogy
Experiential education facilitation
Outdoor Education programming and sequencing
Structuring learning episodes including provision of feedback, assessment and reflection.
4. 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
Outdoor Education Australia is a national network of outdoor education associations that facilitates communication about the practice and delivery of outdoor education; advocates for outdoor education across primary, secondary and tertiary education; and provides policy advice.
OEA supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart and First Nations Australians’ quest for truth telling, a voice and makarrata. We look forward to walking together with First Nations Australians to build a better future.