Outdoor Education: Methods and Strategies, Second Edition, is divided into three parts. Part I defines what outdoor education is and details the professional expectations for an outdoor educator. It also explores theories that support outdoor education, including developmental stages, learning stages, and constructivism. Part II guides the reader to understand the backgrounds and abilities of participants, create a successful learning environment, teach effectively in a variety of settings, and design lesson plans. Part III examines the uses of physical, cognitive, and affective methods for teaching, and it includes sample lesson plans that illustrate the methods presented. These chapters help students reflect on, evaluate, and improve their lesson plans through experimentation.
Presented by authors with a combined 150 years of experience in the field, the methods and strategies in this book have been tested and proven to work in a variety of outdoor settings. This second edition covers theories such as scaffolding, brain-based learning, Erik Erikson’s eight stages of development as applied to outdoor education, playful learning, and nature play as well as the use of technology in outdoor education. This text supplements theory with tools to support practical application:
- Easy-to-use forms for designing, implementing, and evaluating outdoor lesson plans
- Nine sample lesson plans offering detailed instructions and representing a variety of settings for different age groups and abilities
- Updated Stories From Real Life case studies that illustrate how methods are applied in the real world
- Explore Your World sidebars prompting students to reflect on their own experiences and goals
- Tips and Techniques sidebars offering brief and actionable advice for educators
- New Professional’s Perspective sidebars featuring insights from real practitioners about core content and topics in the book
Outdoor Education: Methods and Strategies, Second Edition, will help aspiring educators enhance their audience’s awareness, appreciation, and knowledge of the outdoors. Ultimately, it will advance their ability to increase people’s enjoyment and understanding of the environment.
Chapter 1. Defining Outdoor Education
Why the Outdoors?
Model of Outdoor Education
Development of Outdoor Education
Rationale for Teaching Outdoors
Chapter 2. Describing the Outdoor Educator
Chapter 3. Learning Theories in Outdoor Education
Theories in Outdoor Education
Learning Theory Guiding Outdoor Education
Playful Learning Theory
Part II. Preparation for Teaching Outdoors
Chapter 4. Understanding Participants
Age and Cognitive Development
Culture and Ethnicity
Strategies for Teaching Diverse Audiences
Chapter 5. Creating the Learning Environment
Foundations of the Learning Environment
Components of Successful Learning Environments
Chapter 6. Outdoor Education Settings
Special Settings: Lessons in the Night
Chapter 7. Designing Lessons
Advantages of Lesson Plans
Part III. Methods and Delivery of Outdoor Education
Chapter 8. Physical Methods
Physical Skills Development
Activities, Games, and Competitions
Initiatives and Ropes Courses
Chapter 9. Cognitive Methods
Lecture and Discussion
Chapter 10. Affective Methods
Scenarios and Case Studies
Chapter 11. Sample Lessons
Maple Sugar Bush
Basic Techniques for Sea Kayaking
Lighting a Camp Stove
Chapter 12. Your Future in Outdoor Education
Issues and Trends Affecting Outdoor Education
Working With Mainstream Education
State Standards and High-Stakes Testing
Education or Advocacy?
Emotional Needs of Participants
Strategic Planning for Professional Growth
Appendix A. Professional Organizations in the United States and Internationally
Appendix B. Sample Forms
Ken Gilbertson, PhD, is a professor of outdoor education in the department of applied human services at the University of Minnesota–Duluth (UMD), where he is also director of the Center for Environmental Education. He has more than 50 years of experience teaching outdoor and environmental education at the college level and has conducted wilderness education, taught at nature centers and Outward Bound wilderness schools, and educated a wide range of audiences through the UMD outdoor program.
Gilbertson’s specialty is in understanding how people learn and applying the methods that will best help them learn about the outdoors. He has designed and constructed a wilderness education curriculum, including a state-of-the-art kit that employs several learning theories. Gilbertson has received two outstanding faculty awards, has been honored with a UMD leadership scholarship in his name, and is a board member of numerous outdoor education and environmental committees. He also serves as reviewer for the Journal of Experiential Education and of abstracts for the Symposium on Experiential Education Research.
Alan Ewert, PhD, is a professor emeritus at Indiana University, where he became the Patricia and Joel Meier Endowed Chair in Outdoor Leadership in 1998. A prolific scholar, Ewert has published articles in a variety of journals and books related to outdoor leadership and recreation. He continues his professional service through numerous venues, including his status as a fellow and past president of the Academy of Leisure Sciences and one of the founding editors of the International Journal of Wilderness. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Experiential Education. In 2021, he received the Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Award for Excellence in Recreation and Park Research through the National Recreation and Park Association. He was the 1996 recipient of the Reynold E. Carlson Award for Distinction in Outdoor Environmental Education; the 2002 recipient of the J.B. Nash Scholar Award through the American Association for Leisure and Recreation; and the 2005 recipient of the Julian W. Smith Award through the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.
Pirkko Siklander, PhD, is an adjunct professor and university researcher at the University of Oulu in Finland. Her main research interest deals with learning and teaching processes in technology-enhanced and collaborative learning, particularly on creative collaboration, triggers for raising interest, and playfulness. During the past 20 years, Siklander has researched and published several scientific articles and book chapters about playful learning and playful teaching, covering early childhood through advanced adulthood. She is an experienced teacher educator and a leader of the University of Oulu’s learning, education, and technology (LET) master’s degree program, which educates experts in the field of learning sciences and the use of technologies.
Tim Bates, MEd, is the associate director and an environmental education coordinator in the recreational sports outdoor program at the University of Minnesota–Duluth, where he also serves as the assistant director of the Center for Environmental Education and as an adjunct faculty member in environmental and outdoor education. Bates has more than 35 years of experience teaching outdoor, environmental, and science education to people of all ages. In addition to developing curricula for schools and other organizations, he has been involved with the creation of an elementary school focused on environmental education and serves on numerous boards and committees related to the outdoors. His specialty is working with preservice students to help them understand and teach about the natural environment.