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ERIC Number: EJ853335
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1053-8259
Ecology and Task Structures in Adventure Education
Zmudy, Mark H.; Curtner-Smith, Matthew D.; Steffen, Jeff
Journal of Experiential Education, v31 n3 p319-340 Mar 2009
Many of the characteristics of effective physical education lessons have been discovered by sport pedagogy researchers by employing what has become known as the ecological or task structures perspective. The purpose of this study was to describe the task structures and ecology that existed in two consecutive 7-day summer adventure camps run by an agency outside the school setting. Participants included two novice adventure educators (AEs) and 31 elementary and middle school-aged children. Data were collected using a number of qualitative techniques and were analyzed using standard interpretive methods. Five task structure systems were identified. The instructional and managerial systems were similar to those previously found in classrooms and school physical education except that parental chaperones were used to enforce the management system. The social system was similar to those previously observed within sport education and adventure education units within school-based physical education in that it mainly served to support the instructional and managerial systems rather than compete with them as in more traditional models of teaching. The exploratory and atmospheric systems had not previously been identified, were extensions of the instructional and social systems, and appeared somewhat unique to adventure education. Implications for training AEs are discussed.
Association for Experiential Education. 3775 Iris Avenue Suite 4, Boulder, CO 80301. Tel: 866-522-8337; Fax: 303-440-9581; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A