ERIC Number: EJ955773
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 47
Outdoor Adventure Education in a Formal Education Curriculum in Finland: Action Research Application
Karppinen, Seppo J. A.
Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning, v12 n1 p41-62 2012
Adventure in school culture may seem quite a contradiction. In this paper I will present arguments on the idea that outdoor adventure learning contributes to formal education and is compatible with school practice and goals. This paper is based on research conducted for my thesis. The doctoral degree was completed at Oulu University, Finland, in 2005. The study aims to develop and to enhance outdoor adventure education and experiential learning as an alternative teaching method in formal school culture. The main purpose of the study is, first, to report on implementing outdoor adventure-based education, and, second, to describe the learning experiences of pupils who have undertaken outdoor adventure-based education during a school year (40 weeks) in public schooling. All the pupils were of average intelligence, but they had problems with their behaviour and motivation for learning. The general purpose of the study is to introduce an applied qualitative action-research approach and methodology concerning outdoor adventure education. The research was designed, conducted, and implemented by myself as a teacher-as-researcher to improve teaching in my own classroom culture. The findings and ideas that came up during the research are linked with recent literature on educational reform, which encourages teachers to be collaborators in revising curriculum, improving their work environment, professionalizing teaching, and developing policy. As a qualitative researcher, I am an "insider", who has the chance to participate in the life of the focus group as a member of the group and researcher. At the same time, the teacher as a researcher is the primary instrument for data collection and analysis into a series of representations, including field notes, interviews, conversations, photographs, recordings and memos to the self. The findings of the study would appear to show that the idea of using nature as a context for learning and the development of ecological awareness will be increasingly essential in the future challenges of education and that outdoor adventure education can be included in the public school curriculum as a supportive and holistic pedagogic and teaching method, which maintains motivation and well-being in the school day. According to the study, especially for pupils with special needs, it can be implemented as a rehabilitative method without massive costs or resources.
Descriptors: Adventure Education, School Culture, Action Research, Focus Groups, Motivation, Experiential Learning, Educational Change, Foreign Countries, Reflective Teaching, Constructivism (Learning), Qualitative Research, Educational Practices, Mixed Methods Research, Behavior Problems, Research Methodology
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland