The November 2020 issue of JOEE features nine papers – six on research studies and three book reviews – from researchers around the world. Authors hail from Pakistan, Sweden, Canada and Australia. Articles look at the role of women in sustainability efforts in Islam, forest bathing in Canada, recreational fishing in Sweden, and autism wild nature programs.
Reminder: To read these full articles you need to log-in to the OEA Digital Library
Link in the menu on the right (or near bottom if viewing on mobile device.)
Forest School practice in Canada: a survey study
Elizabeth Y. S. Boileau (pic), Ziad F. Dabaja
This small-scale study provides baseline information on the characteristics of Canadian Forest Schools, the challenges that educators face in starting up these outdoor programs, and the potential benefits for enrolled children. An online survey study was conducted in the fall of 2017 with 25 Forest School educators from across Canada. Most barriers were overcome by developing relationships with local partners, adapting programs to comply with local regulations, and educating the community on Forest School pedagogy. Observed benefits for the children, included the development of their social and physical skills and self-confidence, increased appreciation for nature, and enhanced creativity.
Design principles of youth development programs in outdoor environments: a scoping review
Andrew Mansfield, Wayne G. Cotton (pic), Paul Ginns
Despite increased popular and research interest in youth development and outdoor education, very little research has focused upon the design principles that enhance the effectiveness of these programs. This article presents a scoping review of the literature discussing youth development activities occurring in outdoor environments, in order to identify the design principles of effective activities. This review covers twenty-five references published between 1990 and June 2019. The review discerned ten design principles of effective youth development occurring in outdoor environments. Opportunities for additional theoretical and empirical research are discussed.
Organized recreational fishing in school, knowledge about nature and influence on outdoor recreation habits
Jonas Ahnesjö (pic), Tom Danielsson
This is a Swedish study investigating the effectiveness of a one day school-based intervention with recreational fishing in increasing environmental awareness, interest in nature and recreational fishing in pupils aged between 8 and 12. The results suggest a weak positive association between exposure to natural environments in a recreational fishing (Klassdraget) context and interest in nature and recreational fishing. We found the intervention to have no effect on the frequency of fishing, interest in fishing more, or number of visits in nature during spare time. Knowledge about nature and possibly also environmental awareness are positively affected and these effects can be traced as long as three years after the intervention. The observed effects benefits of Klassdraget are small but appear to be larger for girls, who are traditionally less interested in recreational fishing than boys.
Environment, Islam, and women: a study of eco-feminist environmental activism in Pakistan
Zeenat Abdul Haq, Muhammad Imran (pic), Shabbir Ahmad & Umer Farooq
This study aimed for a better understanding of existing levels of Islamic environmental behavior in the perspective of eco-feminist environmental activism in Pakistan with the analysis of existing literature, media reports, NGOs’ environmental movements, and the environmental activists’ campaigns. Women, in the world generally and Pakistan particularly, have the most appropriate pro-environmental behavior concerning the cultural eco-feminist dimensions. This study addresses the radical reasons for climate change as demographic changes, deforestation, pollution, and population growth along with their solutions from the Islamic perspective. It argues that women, as ecofeminism activists, must be the part of policy matters and their implementation structure as the first-hand companions of nature and social culture.
Children with Autism in Wild Nature: Exploring Australian Parent Perceptions Using Photovoice
Carolyn Galbraith, Julie Lancaster (pic)
Time in wild nature has been found to have unique benefits for children with Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC), although research on access to wild nature for children with ASC is scarce (Blakesley et al. 2013). Parents of children with ASC have unique insights into their children’s lives (Harte 2009). Using a qualitative method this small scale study included three parents of children with ASC aged between five and 10 recruited from an Australian online support group. The three parents reported that time in wild nature supported their children’s deep interests, helped them adapt to change, supported their creative and imaginative play, and calmed them. Reported barriers included being too busy with therapy appointments, balancing the needs of siblings with ASC, sensory challenges, and the exhaustion of daily life.
Forest bathing: a narrative review of the effects on health for outdoor and environmental education use in Canada
Sandrine Mathias, Patrick Daigle, Kelsey Needham Dancause, Tegwen Gadais (pic)
Education and health professionals from a range of disciplines seek alternatives to promote well-being through nature. Shinrin Yoku, originating from Japan, means “forest baths” or “taking in the forest atmosphere” and provides the opportunity to reconnect with nature and its benefits, with great potential in Canada. This brief review aims to highlight the potential for the use of Shinrin Yoku in the Canadian context of education and healthcare. A literature review from 1985 to 2017 classified 26 articles according to three main benefit categories: physiological, psychological, and environmental. Given the resources already available in Canada, Shinrin Yoku could be integrated into existing programs and interventions, and could provide another option to educators and healthcare professionals seeking low-risk educational and intervention alternatives for their students and patients.
Becoming and being a camp counsellor: Discourse, power relations and emotions by Mandi Baker — REVIEW
Robert P. Warner, Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism, University of Utah
Becoming and Being a Camp Counsellor is an insightful, thought-provoking, and novel investigation of the recreational summer camp experience. Through an approach seldom used in camp research, Baker provides evidence of the myriad ways the camp industry and individual camps have created and maintained discourses that control the young people who spend their summers working as camp counsellors. Baker’s robust synthesis and critique of camp literature serve as both the impetus for her research as well as an unsettling of common understandings of camp. In doing so, Baker provides evidence of how researchers, and the camp industry more generally, have overlooked significant aspects of what it means to both become and be a summer camp counsellor.
Baker carefully arranged her book into eight chapters, each of which will rattle readers’ perceptions of camp and the experiences of camp counselling.
Dark Pedagogy: Education, Horror and the Anthropocene by Jonas Andreasen Lysgaard, Stefan Bengtsson & Martin Hauberg-Lund Laugesen — REVIEW
Noel Gough, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia
Drawing on the work of the classic horror author H.P. Lovecraft and new materialist insights of speculative realism, the authors link Lovecraft’s ‘tales of the horrible’ to the current spectres of environmental degradation, climate change, and pollution. In doing so, they draw parallels between how humans have always related to the ‘horrible’ things that are scaled beyond our understanding and how education can respond to an era of climate catastrophe in the age of the Anthropocene.
The authors set out to explore how the different perspectives on the notion of “the great outdoors” (Meillassoux 2009) can be understood and incorporated in a new and darker understanding of the role of pedagogy and Environmental and Sustainability Eeducation (ESE), particularly for an age of mass extinction.
Developing place-responsive pedagogy in outdoor environmental education: A rhizomatic curriculum autobiography by Alistair Stewart — REVIEW
Scott Jukes, La Trobe University, Bendigo, Australia
Outdoor environmental education in Australia has historically been influenced by imported universalist ideas, particularly from the USA and the UK. However, during the last two decades a growing number of researchers in this field have challenged the applicability of such taken-for-granted approaches and advocated the development of curricula and pedagogies informed by the unique bio-geographical and cultural histories of the locations in which educational experiences take place. As this book demonstrates, Alistair Stewart is prominent among the vanguard of Australian outdoor environmental educators who have led such advocacy by combining practical experience with theoretical rigour.