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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Outdoor education : a procedure for site analysis and selection Klassen, Harold H.

Abstract

Recent popularity of interdisciplinary outdoor learning has resulted in a need for a method of selecting adequate learning sites. Observations by the author of outdoor sites presently in use indicated a need for analysis and selection of sites where students could derive the greatest benefit. A survey was sent to each school district in the province to determine interest in this approach. Results of the survey showed fifty-five percent of the responding school districts have undertaken planning for outdoor education with emphasis in the elementary grades. Fifteen percent of the responding districts are presently developing sites for extended outdoor education and curriculum enrichment. Another seventeen percent would consider this type of site in their future plans. A term, "corridors of learning", was coined to describe unique and distinct areas within a site. This concept was enlarged to include the potential use by students and teacher of each part of an outdoor site. Curriculum was defined as the total educational potential of a site. Objectives for outdoor education in this province were phrased by determining the frequency of occurence in the literature of similar objectives. These were then rephrased so that they would be practical within the British Columbia school system and serve as a basis for viewing the site as the curriculum. Outdoor education was divided into the field trip approach, day trip approach and residential approach. A literature search and field observations were carried out to isolate problems related to the ecology of the site and the behavioural responses of students using a site. Problems of site availability, useability, physical uniqueness, and student use were considered important selection factors. Numerical values were assigned to physical site factors for the purpose of comparative analysis of different sites. These numerical values were used to develop a graph for comparing the educational potential of several sites.

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