Outdoor Experiential Learning: Building Exemplary Practice
Outdoor Experiential Learning: Building exemplary practice.
This paper explores the integral processes of Outdoor Education: experiential
learning theories, facilitation and leadership approaches, and human
experiences in nature, from a practitioners’ perspective.
As part of an investigation to enhance our understanding of Outdoor Education
in practice, eleven outdoor educators wrote cases detailing experiences within
their work practice. The cases were then examined, identifying common themes
and approaches to build up a picture of common practices as used by
practitioners in the field. This examination indicated that experiential
learning theory appears to underpin the practices of outdoor educators. As a
theory it could be used to identify and develop exemplary practice in the
Analysis of the outdoor educator’s cases also revealed similarities between
experiential learning and praxis inquiry. Praxis inquiry is an approach
employed to develop reflexive teaching practitioners in teacher education
within the School of Education at Victoria University. The question arose as to
whether praxis inquiry is just a version of the experiential learning cycle or
are there identifiable differences? If so could praxis inquiry be a useful
framework for the development of outdoor educators?