ERIC Number: ED356920
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988
Inside Outdoor Education: A Case Study.
This case study examines the teaching practices of Alan Woods, (pseudonym) who teaches elementary students in an outdoor education program. It describes a typical teaching day, including Alan's comments about his work and important aspects of being an outdoor educator. Alan stated that he used recitation questioning (asking students to recite previously learned information) to get to know his students and keep their attention and that he used Socratic questioning (a series of simple questions leading to formation of a concept) when students were keen to the topic. In observed practice, however, with activities tightly scheduled, Alan used extensive recitation questioning only. This difference between what Alan said and what he actually did can be explained by a contrast between espoused theories and theories-in-use. Espoused theories are what we give our allegiance to; whereas theories-in-use actually govern our behavior. Alan faced the conflict of balancing his responsibility to get to know his students with his professional obligation to teach lessons prescribed by the school program policy. A second conflict in Alan's practice was between concerns of cognitive outcomes of his teaching and affective ones. These conflicts reflect two opposing views of outdoor education. The "indoor view" holds that outdoor education, like all other types of schooling, should not stress the affective, emotional and social outcomes of learning. Alan in practice, however, accepts what might be called an outdoor view. This view says that outdoor education is not like other school subjects, that it provides experiences with special attributes and demands of their own. The conflict between an outdoor educator's thoughts and actions is a problem to which the solution lies in the explication and understanding of the indoor/outdoor dilemma. (LP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: An Outdoor and Experiential Unit Occasional Paper. An earlier version was published in the Outdoor Recreation Research Journal Volume 1, Winter, 1986.