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ERIC Number: ED148530
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Aug
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
A Rationale for Outdoor Activity as Experiential Education: The Reason for Freezin'.
Kesselheim, A. Donn
John Dewey said, "Learning is thinking about experience". This dictum accurately reflects the rationale for outdoor activity as experiential education. The term "outdoor learning" refers to a set of activities which have the following characteristics in common: environmental contrast (a sharp environmental change for the participant); physical activity (e.g., hiking, rafting, technical rock climbing, etc.); the intentional use of stress as an intrinsic rather than contrived part of the situation (e.g., rough weather); small group context (focus on collaboration rather than competition); new knowledge and skills (emphasis on the challenge of newness and unfamiliarity). Major outdoor learning goals are: enhancing self concept; understanding the self, with special emphasis on the identification of one's strengths; a reorientation of attitudes toward aesthetic appreciation and environmental awareness; an understanding of leadership and followership and the use of authority; and internalization (insight, comprehension, and awareness that produce behavior changes). A well-designed outdoor learning experience typically follows a thaw-shift-freeze cycle; there is an early phase in which some aspects of conventional wisdom and behavior are called into question by being disconfirmed; a transition phase then offers insight into alternative behavior, or attitudes, or skills; finally, strategies are employed to stabilize the new behavior so that it may be retained over time. (JC)
CMTF, Post Office Box 2238, Littleton, Colorado 80161 (no price given)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Conference on Outdoor Pursuits in Higher Education (Boone, North Carolina, February 11, 1974). Revised and reprinted August 1976