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ERIC Number: ED383488
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Jan
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Influence of Outdoor Education on Curriculum Integration: A Case Study.
Horwood, Bert
This paper describes the role of outdoor education in an integrated semester at an Ontario, Canada high school. Thirteen students worked with one teacher for an entire semester and earned credits in environmental science, English, physical education, and life skills. Students were interviewed at the beginning, midpoint, and end of the semester. By the end of the semester, students revealed a sense of connectedness and unity in their work due to six integrating factors: experiential learning, whole process approach, authenticity of the experience, pressure of increased responsibility and greater challenges, and a strong sense of community in the class. Outdoor education took more than one-third of school time in the semester and included 11 single-day events and 4 extended expeditions totalling 25 days. Excerpts from student interviews demonstrate that outdoor experiences influenced integration by providing inescapable consequences of action or inaction, opportunities for personal growth and awareness, and an unforgettable sense of wonder toward nature and also toward students' own previously unknown capabilities. Learning through experience is the quintessential factor that integrates curriculum elements, and direct experience is present to the highest degree possible in outdoor education. Barriers to repeated long-term outdoor education such as these students experienced include time constraints; budget constraints; lack of teachers competent in both school subjects and outdoor leadership; and most difficult to address, the dominance of assessment for grades in most school systems. (SV)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada