Outdoor Education for a Changing World
By Brian Wattchow and Mike Brown
In this renewal of outdoor education philosophy and practice, the emphasis is upon responding to, and empathising with, the outdoors as particular places, rich in local meaning and significance.
Current outdoor education theory and practice is influenced by cultural ideas about risk and adventure, and by psychological theories of personal and social development. However, in recent decades the professional discourse of outdoor education has made a noticeable shift to include education for the ‘environment’ and ‘nature’. This has resulted in a mismatch between theory and practice: traditional notions of proving oneself ‘against’ the challenges of the outdoors are antithetical to the development of an empathetic relationship with outdoor places, which growing concern with today’s environment demands.
This book will be the first of its kind to articulate a renewal of philosophy and practice for outdoor education that is in keeping with the educational needs of today’s young people as they grapple with considerable social and ecological changes in a rapidly changing world. The authors draw extensively on international, national and local literature and provide compelling case studies drawn from the Australian and New Zealand contexts.
This book offers a very different perspective on outdoor education and it holds the potential to sow many seeds about what outdoor education could become. I hope that it will also become a conceptual framework around which to organise a substantive body of research in outdoor education.
— Robyn Zink, Australian Journal of Outdoor Education, 15(1), 56–58, 2011
This is an excellent book and is a valuable addition to contemporary discussion about what we are trying to achieve in outdoor education in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.
— Dave Irwin, Out and About, August 2011