The November 2021 issue of JOEE features five papers — four research studies and one book review — from international academics and researchers. In this issue, we feature two papers from Czech Republic and two from Australia. Articles look at: Outdoor Education and Becoming a Man; Making Meanings of Walking in Nature; How we address Gender Equity in OEE in Higher Ed; and Outdoor ed from accompanying Teachers’ Perspective. We also have a book review of Rethinking outdoor, experiential and informal education: Beyond the confines.
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We love them anyway: outdoor environmental education programs from the accompanying teachers’ perspective
Jan Cincera (pic), Jan Zalesak, Miloslav Kolenaty, Petra Simonova & Bruce Johnson
This Czech Republic research looks at 17 elementary school teachers who had participated in one of five selected residential programs in 2018 – 2019. All the teachers found the residential programs beneficial for their teaching. However, a majority reported that the most significant outcome was the improvement in the students’ interpersonal competence and in the relationship between the teachers and their students.
The effect of the residential programs on developing the students’ environmental understanding, attitudes, and values remained secondary for the teachers. What teachers appreciated most was the application of experiential learning methods providing emotional experiences for the students. The paper discusses the possible reasons for such perceptions and the implications for practice.
Is outdoor and environmental education (in higher education) normal, weird, queering or…? Bagurrk, binaries and ‘saving the world’…or at least ‘making a difference’?
This paper discusses whether Outdoor and Environmental Education (OEE), including in Higher Education (HE), adequately addresses gender equity. Looking at gender equity in/through OEE in HE, interconnected to and reflective of current dilemmas and pandemic, the author uses a conceptual yarn to pose a number of theoretical and issue-based challenges to OEE, beyond and within HE.
Drawing on scholars in and outside the field she suggests that to address complex socio-ecological issues, this field needs to break its own doxa (opinions/beliefs), valuing such destruction, so that marginalised and emerging possibilities can be enabled. She argues that then OEE will demonstrate an ability to embody diversity, inclusion and an ecology that is at the same time sustainable AND changing, making a difference that really counts.
Outdoor education and becoming-man
This article focuses on transitioning from boys to men – the possibilities of “becoming-man” – through outdoor education programs, while acknowledging that a similar investigation could be carried out in relation to girls and women, as well as other gender identities. In relation to “becoming-man”, contact with nature through an expedition inherently offers some possibilities for confronting one’s own boundaries, overcoming pain and suffering, experiencing unsafe situations, being self-sufficient, and belonging to a social group. Several days in a natural environment without the trappings of civilization serve as a developmental instrument for “becoming-man”.
This paper draws on phenomenological philosophy because it can open pathways to understanding different ways of being and becoming. It also suggests that there are needs which adolescent boys have which differ from those of adolescent girls.
Making meanings of walking with/in nature: embodied encounters in environmental outdoor education
This study examines the meaning of walking as embodied encounters with/in nature. What are the embodied qualities of movement experiences, such as bushwalking, as afforded by the scapes in which we move? How is embodied knowing afforded and encountered while walking with/in nature? How and in what ways are environmentally ethical relationships constructed with/in and by nature whilst walking?
This study advances the literature in outdoor and environmental education research in three important ways (i) methodologically accessing the previous non-representational affects and meaning making of movement experiences in nature (ii) reveal numerous qualities and characteristics of bushwalking in three Australian scapes that, previously, have attracted little research and pedagogical insight (iii) offer an alternative to masculinist, commodified, instrumentalized ‘core’ walking practices dominant in outdoor education.
Rethinking outdoor, experiential and informal education: Beyond the confines by Tony Jeffs and Jon Ord — REVIEW
Ian A. Neville, College of Sport and Exercise Science, Victoria University, Footscray Park, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
Over the last two decades Outdoor Studies has emerged as an innovative and vibrant field of study. This book, which covers qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods, examines key methodologies, themes and technologies such as digital research, mobile methodologies, ethnography, interviews, research design, research ethics and ways of disseminating research.
It features contributions from leading researchers and outdoor practitioners from a range of disciplines: health, sport, education, the environment and sustainability. According to Eric, , this book is a welcome addition to the generic research methods literature for undergraduates, postgraduates, and early career researchers. The structure and presentation of the book ensured the volume was easy to follow and usable. Each chapter is supported with key references signposting further reading, and the index made navigating the content user friendly. The book is set out in five parts guiding the reader through the initial considerations, positioning of the researcher, research design and methodology, researching ethically and opportunities for sharing and disseminating research
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.