JOEE 24(1)

JOEE March 2021 Issue

The March 2021 issue of JOEE features eight papers — six on research studies and two book reviews — from international researchers and academics. Featured authors come from Canada, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States. Romania, India Morroco and Australia. Articles look at the decline of outdoor ed programs in universities, science and music outside the classroom and the impact of screens on our connection with nature.

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Overboard! The turbulent waters of outdoor education in neoliberal post-secondary contexts

Janet E. Dyment, (pic), Tom G. Potter

This paper reports on interviews with seven established outdoor education (OE) academics who have navigated the decline / closure of an outdoor education program in their university. Analysis revealed three themes that led to the declines/closures:
1) societal trends and beliefs;
2) high level leadership and power structures’ and,
3) personal role – which included lack of strategic advocacy.
This paper contains valuable lessons that could be useful for Outdoor educations in academia, including a need to: understand the neoliberal agenda driving universities; maintain strategic relationships with senior academics; position oneself in high level academic positions; participate in reviews equipped with evidence; and strategically advocate for OE programs.

Learning science outside the classroom: development and validation of the out-of-school learning environments perception scale

Ahmet Ilhan Sen, Hulya Ertas-Kılıc, Ozlem Oktay (pic), Serkan Ekinci & Zafer Kadırhan

The purpose of this Turkish study of 990 middle school students (583 females and 407 males) was to develop and validate a system to measure their perceptions of out-of-school learning environments. The system OSLEPS (for Out-of-School Learning Environments Perception) involved 549 students in the design stage which led to four factor-structures to the study: incentive for learning, learning benefits, integration, and involvement. Then, data was collected from 441 students to confirm the four-factor structure of the 16-item OSLEPS. Statistical analyses found OSLEPS to be a valid instrument for investigating middle school students’ perceptions of out-of-school learning environments.

The impact of music making outdoors on primary school aged pupils (aged 7–10 years) in the soundscape of nature from the perspective of their primary school teachers

Dylan Adams (pic), Gary Beauchamp

This paper covers teachers’ perceptions of the impact of primary school pupils’ music-making in various outdoor rural locations. It analyses qualitative data from semi-structured interviews with seven teachers from six different primary school classes and with six groups of children from the six different classes. The analyses show the teachers perceived that the space, the new soundscape and the close contact with nature led to greater experimentation and expressiveness. The study advocates for teachers to identify potential benefits for children aged 7–10 years in making music in outdoor locations and how this might impact other creative areas of the curriculum.

Intree: embodied experience in a flat screen world

Tom Puk (pic)

In this article, Tom looks at how semi passive interaction with computers is leading to a disconnect for us as homo sapiens with natural processes. And how chronic screen time at primary/elementary and secondary schools could make students even more removed from an ecophilic, healthy relationship with natural processes and something that is more three-dimensional, dynamic and fluid. What is the long term of effect of this?

The importance of Forest School and the pathways to nature connection

Dave Cudworth & Ryan Lumber (pic)

Forest School in the UK has been growing in popularity over the past 25 years as part of a wider resurgence of interest in outdoor learning. A key driver has been a growing concern over the lack of child exposure to outdoor experiences and with the natural world.This sense of belonging developed by being in nature can also be a key factor in promoting attachment and sense of place which in turn is associated with the promotion of health, wellbeing and pro-environmental behaviours. Recent work has suggested that contact, emotion, meaning, compassion, and beauty are key pathways for the formation of nature connection and there is a strong need to better understand children’s nature connection in this context.

“The freedom to make mistakes”: youth, nature, and the Anthropocene

Chris A. B. Zajchowski (pic), Daniel L. Dustin & Eddie L. Hill

As a skilled woodsman, hunter, and a proponent of personal development through time in the outdoors, Aldo Leopold is widely regarded as one of the founders of the modern field of ecology. This paper looks at how Leopold viewed certain benefits of immersive outdoor experiences, drawin on his 1943 essay on opportunities for trial-and-error via experiences in nature for youth. It asks if these freedoms still exist in the Anthropocene. It looks at challenges facing park managers and outdoor educators instrumental in providing these freedoms and how important is it to provide young adults opportunities for risk and exploration.

Environmental education and ecotourism by Fernando Ramírez and Josefina Santana  — REVIEW

Mohamed Abioui (Morocco), Monica Maria Axini & Dan Razvan Popoviciu (Romania) and Ashwani Kumar Dubey (India)

This SpringerBrief focuses on the principles of ecotourism such as relevance of the field, origin, fundamental aspects, definitions, philosophy, implications in biodiversity conservation and environmental impacts. Special emphasis is also given to the interaction between ecotourism and education and it is supported by recent publications from the authors.

George Seddon: selected writings by A Gaynor (Editor) — REVIEW

Lucas Bester La Trobe University, Bendigo, Australia

George Seddon was an Australian renowned for championing a ‘sense of place’, giving that phrase a uniquely Australian substance. His love of landscapes extended from Australia’s Snowy Mountains to the suburban backyard. A professor of geology, the history and philosophy of science, and environmental science, he also taught English and philosophy. He broke new ground in urban planning, landscape architecture and environmental conservation. The highlights of his extensive work are covered in this publication by Andrea Gaynor, with an insightful introduction by historian Tom Griffiths.

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