Outdoor Education: Methods and Strategies

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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.

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About the author (2006)

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.

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