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What is outdoor education? Knowing, doing and being.

What is outdoor education? Knowing, doing and being.

What is outdoor education? Yes, that hoary old question again. In this session I want to take a look at the development of outdoor education in Victoria over the last forty years or so, drawing on various views people have expressed about outdoor education in schools. I want to compare these with developments in outdoor education as they have occurred, broadly speaking, in the USA. But my interest is not just historical. Using these perspectives I want to highlight difficult questions around curriculum and pedagogy that outdoor educators have faced and continue to face – questions that are often raised around times of curriculum change. Based on this picture, I argue that educationally, outdoor education addresses more than just knowing and doing, and works with ways of being. This presents a challenge to how we generally understand education – usually viewed through the lenses of curriculum (content) and pedagogy (process) – and suggests that we must go beyond these to consider ways of being as educational aims: a broader conception of curriculum.

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