ERIC Number: EJ1026178
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
"Did You Enjoy Your Holiday?" Can Residential Outdoor Learning Benefit Mainstream Schooling?
Christie, Beth; Higgins, Peter; McLaughlin, Pat
Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning, v14 n1 p1-23 2014
In the United Kingdom there is a long tradition of residential outdoor learning provision, but to date there is limited research evidence for the direct educational benefits of such experiences, and to both critics and supporters the distinction between such visits and "holidays in school time" is not always apparent. This paper summarises an evaluation of one such programme used by a Scottish council as part of an initiative to raise pupils' achievement, and considers the direct educational benefits in relation to the current educational framework within Scotland. A mixed-methods evaluation involving over 800 pupils combined psychometric analysis, participant observation, group and individual interviews, and was conducted before, during and up to three months after each residential experience. Aspects were repeated over the course of two years. The personal "dispositions" concept prominent in the National Curriculum Guidelines for 5-14 year olds (in place during the fieldwork) provided an overarching analytical framework. The findings were then related to the development of the personal "capacities" specified in the current curriculum in Scotland (Curriculum for Excellence). This paper therefore performs three functions: first, it examines the educational relationship between residential outdoor learning and mainstream education in Scotland; second, it considers the contemporary significance and continued relevance of outdoor learning more generally; and third, it examines the relationship between qualitative and quantitative approaches to such studies. The aim of fostering positive "dispositions" or "capacities" is now prevalent in the curricula of many countries and so the findings may have significance beyond the United Kingdom.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Outdoor Education, Program Evaluation, Mixed Methods Research, Educational Benefits, Psychometrics, Observation, Interviews, Residential Programs, Questionnaires, Diaries, Student Attitudes, Statistical Analysis, Self Esteem, Coping, Program Effectiveness
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education; High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Scotland)