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ERIC Number: EJ809822
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-1740-8989
"Is What You See What You Get?" The Production of Knowledge in-between the Indoors and the Outdoors in Outdoor Education
Zink, Robyn; Burrows, Lisette
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v13 n3 p251-265 Jul 2008
Background: Many believe the "outdoors" is a key factor influencing student learning in "outdoor education" because it is so different from the "everyday" indoor contexts of students' lives. In much of the outdoor education literature the outdoors is construed as a neutral and simplified space which allows students to have more "real" and meaningful experiences than is possible in mainstream or "indoor" schooling. Purpose: In this paper we draw on Foucauldian theoretical insights to interrogate some of the ways this binary distinction of indoor/outdoor is both produced and sustained in outdoor education and the effect this has on practice. We examine how this presumed indoors/outdoors distinction works to make particular assumptions about what and how students learn in outdoor education appear coherent and plausible while excluding possibilities of alternative student learning in this field. Participants and settings: This article focuses on one aspect of a larger ethnographic study of the outdoor education programme in a New Zealand all girls secondary school. Data collection: The first author observed and participated in the outdoor education programme of this school during 2002. Students were interviewed about their perceptions of their experiences on camp at the end of each residential camp. The two outdoor education teachers were interviewed about their perceptions of outdoor education at the end of the year. Findings: The rhetoric of the role of the outdoors in outdoor education provides a limited and partial understanding of students' experiences and what it is possible for them to learn in the outdoors. We argue that this indoors/outdoors binary produces particular knowledge of self and others and environment and specific ways of understanding students that are not necessarily advantageous to all. Conclusion: We conclude by urging a re-consideration of the sanctity of the indoors/outdoors divide--one that attends to the potential effects on students, teachers and outdoor education as a subject area, of continuing to premise outdoor education philosophy and practice on its unproblematised "existence". (Contains 6 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand