The March 2020 issue of JOEE features five papers from researchers around the world — Sweden, Scotland, the United States and Canada — looking at the long term benefits of Outdoor Education programs; and consciousness around Leave No Trace (LNT), amongst other topics. Additionally, we have a response by an author to their book reviewed in a previous issue.
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A retrospective study of the importance of a mandatory outdoor experience program at university
Ayden Meilleur, Stephen D. Ritchie, Bruce Oddson, Jeffrey McGarry, Patricia Pickard & Michelle K. Brunette (pic)
A retrospective study of 167 respondents who, during the years 1969 to 2016, were involved in a mandatory outdoor experience program (MOEP), as part of a Canadian university orientation. The study looked at the long term impacts of the experience and identifies common themes amongst Alumni reflections. This research builds on existing research on the short-term impacts and benefits of outdoor orientation programs.
Active ingredients of learning at summer camp
Jim Sibthorp (pic), Cait Wilson, Victoria Povilaitis & Laurie Browne
U.S. Summer camps provide an important opportunity for learning and youth development, with an estimated 14 million youth attending 14,000 day and overnight camps each year. “Active ingredients” describe the elements of a program that are responsible for the targeted change in behaviour, skill, attitude, or belief. The purpose of this study was to identify the ingredients of the camp experience that most actively contributed to lasting learning. 524 former campers between the ages of 18 and 25 were surveyed to understand the aspects of the camp experience that most directly facilitated this learning.
Investigating the process of learning for school pupils on residential outdoor education courses
Can a curriculum-related course deliver the affective (emotional) learning that seems to facilitate cognitive learning? This was tested experimentally with secondary school pupils attending a field studies (curriculum) course. Although the experimental group made significant cognitive gain it was not accompanied by the reputed affective (emotional) learning. Affective measures revealed a level of stability of pupils’ self-concept that might have inhibited affective learning. There remains potential for primary quantitative studies to test for relationships between elements of learning in different domains on residential courses and thus inform the process of learning.
Reshaping the outdoors through education: exploring the potentials and challenges of ecological restoration education
Andreas Skriver Hansen (pic) & Mattias Sandberg
In this Scandinavian study, researchers explore and critically discuss a new concept with relevance to outdoor and environmental education: Ecological Restoration Education (ERE). The background of ERE is a recently launched project by the Swedish Anglers Association (SAA) called ‘Skolbäcken’ with an aim to teach children about fish and fish habitats, and how to protect and conserve both, through practical restoration activities. The project is a reaction to an awakening concern about children’s reduced contact with and understanding of nature, both in the Scandinavian countries and elsewhere in the world.
Awareness and application of minimum impact practices among rock climbers in the Red River Gorge, Kentucky
Brian G. Clark, James N. Maples (pic) & Ryan L. Sharp
This study follows a group of rock climbers in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge (RRG), over the course of one year, to.examine whether knowing more about Leave No Trace (LNT) practices alters their subsequent actions and behaviour. Interestingly, the study also discovered that having a high income had an impact on minimal impact.
Response to review of Ontology and closeness in human-nature relationships: Beyond dualisms, materialism and posthumanism by Neil H. Kessler
Neil H. Kessler
Author, Neil H. Kessler, responds to Noel Gough’s review of his book, Ontology and Closeness in Human-Nature Relationships, challenging his arguments which he saw as non-complimentary.