Outdoor Education : Methods and Strategies


Ken Gilbertson, Timothy Bates, Terry McLaughlin, Alan Ewert
ISBN: 0736047093
ISBN13: 9780736047098
U.S. dollars
Regular Price: $59.00

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Outdoor Education: Methods and Strategies will show students how to
  • use physical, cognitive, and affective methods to teach lessons in different settings to different audiences;
  • link educational theories to teaching methods and choose the best method for each setting; and
  • implement strategies with easy-to-use forms and lesson plans.
Outdoor Education: Methods and Strategies provides all the necessary information and tools for teaching outdoor education. It applies educational theories to outdoor teaching methods and helps educators choose the instructional strategy that will work best for their audience, whether they’re in a school, nature center, adventure center, camp, environmental learning center, government agency, or university. This text includes the following features:
  • Easy-to-use forms for designing, implementing, and evaluating outdoor lesson plans
  • Six highly detailed sample lesson plans, representing a variety of settings for different age groups and abilities and using physical, cognitive, and affective methods
  • Teaching tips, real-life case studies, and interactive exercises to apply concepts in each chapter
Outdoor Education: Methods and Strategies contains practical lesson plans and examples that go beyond the normal scope of a text. It includes key concepts, objectives, and summaries for each chapter, and it presents an extensive set of educational methods and applications to foster optimal learning. Part I defines what outdoor education is and details the professional expectations of an outdoor educator. It also explores educational theories that support outdoor education, including developmental stages, learning stages, and constructivism. Part II covers teacher preparation, including understanding the backgrounds and abilities of participants, creating a successful learning environment, teaching effectively in a variety of outdoor settings, and designing lesson plans. In part III, the authors explore methods and delivery of outdoor education. They examine the uses of physical, cognitive, and affective methods for teaching, and they provide six ready-to-use sample lessons. They also help readers reflect on, evaluate, and improve their lesson plans through experimentation. Outdoor Education: Methods and Strategies will benefit all educators, new or veteran, in enhancing their audience’s awareness, appreciation, and knowledge of the outdoors. Ultimately, it will advance educators’ abilities to increase people’s enjoyment and understanding of the environment.

About the Author

Ken Gilbertson, PhD, is an associate professor of outdoor education in the department of health, physical education, and recreation, at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD), where he is also director of the Center for Environmental Education. He has 30 years of experience teaching outdoor and environmental education at the college level and has taught at nature centers, conducted wilderness education, taught at Outward Bound 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 applying several learning theories. Gilbertson has received two outstanding faculty awards, has 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. Tim Bates, MEd, is the associate director of the Recreational Sports Outdoor Program, an adjunct faculty member, the coordinator of environmental education, and assistant director of the Center for Environmental Education at the University of Minnesota Duluth. He is certified by the American Canoe Association as an instructor trainer educator of coastal kayaking and is a wilderness first responder from Wilderness Medical Associates. Bates has more than 20 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 the natural environment; those students then teach this knowledge to others. Terry McLaughlin, MS, is a freelance environmental educator working in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. With more than 20 years of experience, she has worked in nature centers, with school districts, and in residential outdoor education programs. McLaughlin’s specialty is training outdoor educators to teach. She has taught her creative and innovative methods to graduate students in environmental education. Her methods involve many of the strategies employed in this book. McLaughlin has served on state and local environmental education boards and has served in an advisory capacity for environmental education centers. Alan Ewert, PhD, is a distinguished and titled professor at Indiana University. He holds the Patricia and Joel Meier Endowed Chair in Outdoor Leadership and serves as the editor of the Journal of Experiential Education. 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 Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. 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. Dr. Ewert also serves as a course director and instructor for Outward Bound and the Wilderness Education Association.

Table of Contents


Part I. Foundations of Outdoor Education
Chapter 1. Defining Outdoor Education
Why the Outdoors?
A Model of Outdoor Education
Environmental Education
Adventure Education
Experiential Education
Education Structure
Development of Outdoor Education
Rationale for Teaching Outdoors
Chapter 2. Describing the Outdoor Educator
Professional Responsibilities
Chapter 3. Theories and Foundations in Outdoor Education
Theories in Outdoor Education
Learning Theories

Part II. Preparation for Teaching Outdoors
Chapter 4. Understanding Participants
Audience Assessment
Age and Cognitive Development
Medical Conditions
Group Familiarity
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
Site Selection
Learning Barriers
Record Keeping
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
Physical Manipulation
Activities, Games, and Competitions
Initiatives and Ropes Courses
Chapter 9. Cognitive Methods
Lecture and Discussion
Service Learning
Written Materials
Peer Teaching
Chapter 10. Affective Methods
Guided Discovery
Visual Imagery
Scenarios and Case Studies
Chapter 11. Sample Lessons
Night Hike
Map and Compass
Maple Sugar Bush
Fishing Ethics
Concepts for Sea Kayakers
Chapter 12. Your Future in Outdoor Education
Working With Mainstream Education
State Standards and High-Stakes Testing
Professional Certification
Education or Advocacy?
Strategic Planning for Professional Growth
Moving Forward in Outdoor Education

Appendix A. Professional Organizations in the United States
Appendix B. Sample Forms
About the Authors


Text for undergraduate- and graduate-level college courses in outdoor education,environmental education, adventure education, interpretation, recreation, physical education,and natural resources education. Reference for outdoor education professionals in outdoor education and adventure programs, nature centers, park and rec departments, environmental learning centers, camps, natural resource agenices, and interpretive centers.