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ERIC Number: EJ1119263
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2206-3110
Outdoor Education and School Curriculum Distinctiveness: More than Content, More than Process
Quay, John
Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education, v19 n2 p42-50 2016
For many years now, those of us engaged with outdoor education curriculum work in Australia have been debating questions which orbit around the issue of defining outdoor education. We claim to be doing so in order to clarify what we are pursuing educationally, our purpose, not only for ourselves but for others, so that we can legitimately stake out our position, our own little piece of educational turf, amongst the other subjects in the school curriculum. However, this debate has never been easy and any attempts to bring it to a resolution inevitably, it seems, settle some issues while heightening tensions in other areas. In this paper I explore two of the more recent approaches to the question of outdoor education's positioning in the school curriculum: the question of distinctiveness and the question of indispensability. Then, through an historical excursion involving Australian and US curriculum history, I highlight some of the difficulties created by shifts in language use. Finally I argue, using definitions of outdoor education that emerged in the United States in the 1950s, that the distinctiveness of outdoor education lies in neither a body of knowledge (content) nor skills and practices (process) but in a deeper level of educational understanding which emphasizes ways of being.
Outdoor Council of Australia. 150 Caxton Street, Milton, Queensland 4064, Australia. Tel: +61-7-3369-9455; Fax: +61-7-3369-9355; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; United States
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A