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The Nature And Scope Of Outdoor Education In Victorian Schools


In 1999 a collaborative project between the Victorian Outdoor Education Association (VOEA) and the Department of Outdoor Education and Nature Tourism at La Trobe University Bendigo investigated the nature and scope of Outdoor Education being offered in Victorian secondary schools. The aim of the study was to attain a clearer understanding of who is teaching Outdoor Education, where it is being taught, what programmes are being offered, what objectives are emphasised and what issues or problems are encountered by Outdoor Education teachers or principals in the implementation of Outdoor Education in Victorian schools. Findings paint a picture of Outdoor Education in schools as personal development education, conducted beyond school hours, by staff who are largely lacking in qualifications. Significant findings are: (1) the majority of Outdoor Education teachers do not have specific Outdoor Education training, (2) most principals and Outdoor Education teachers responding to the survey see the development of group cooperation, self esteem and responsibility as the main objectives of Outdoor Education, (3) most Outdoor Education teachers are expected to work during out of school hours but receive minimal or po compensation for this, (4) the nature of programmes offered in Government schools is significantly different to that offered in Independent schools (non-Catholic). Many practical issues identified related to the difficulties of including Outdoor Education in the traditional school programme structure and particularly to problems with finding appropriate staff for Outdoor Education practical trips.

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Both are ex-secondary school outdoor education teachers and are actively involved in the Victorian Outdoor Education Association and the Australian Outdoor Education Council. Peter is in the finishing stages of his PhD and Alison is contemplating embarking on the PhD journey.

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Lugg, A., Martin, P. The Nature And Scope Of Outdoor Education In Victorian Schools. Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education 5, 42–48 (2001).

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