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Outdoor Schools: Learning Impacts of Residential Environmental Education Programs as Seen by People Who Run and Work at Such Sites

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dc.creator Anderson, Robyn A.
dc.date.accessioned 2011-08-16T23:16:09Z
dc.date.available 2011-08-16T23:16:09Z
dc.date.issued 2010-08
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1957/22669
dc.description This master's project was completed in the Oregon State University Free Choice Learning Lab for the Science and Math Education Department. The major professor was Shawn Rowe and the advisers were Lynn Dierking and John Falk. http://hmsc.oregonstate.edu/visitor/free-choice-learning en_US
dc.description.abstract Outdoor schools are located all over the nation. Many students attend these programs to gain science knowledge and experience nature first hand. Outdoor schools are residential programs for students in upper elementary and middle school. Many of the messages are environmental in nature and promote stewardship. The purpose of this study was to look at the impacts of attending an outdoor school on students as seen by the people who run and work at such sites. This study is about understanding the impacts and outcomes of outdoor schools on students, teachers, and the community from the perspective of people who work at these sites. The first seven claims emerged from the participants‘ answers from the online surveys and phone interviews. The final claim became apparent to the researcher throughout the study and during the investigation into current research on outdoor schools. The information gathered in this study can help guide future research. It is important to note that while the study included participants who work at or run outdoor schools from all the west coast states, as well as Idaho; it would not be safe to generalize findings for all outdoor schools, students and teachers nationwide. This could be seen as a limitation for the study‘s findings; however these findings are also more in-depth about these particular outdoor schools. Research Question The specific research question addressed in this study is as follows: - What are the impacts and outcomes of outdoor school on students, teachers, and the community as seen by the people who operate and work at these institutions? Eight claims emerged from the data: 1. Participants believe outdoor schools provide a place for hands-on learning, inquiry lessons and natural discovery that is not always present in the traditional classroom. 2. Participants believe that students who attend outdoor school increase their science knowledge as well as their environmental awareness. 3. Participants believe students who attend outdoor school have the opportunity to socialize in a new environment and from that gain new and important social skills and grow as an individual. 4. Participants believe that teachers who attend outdoor school gain teaching and leadership skills to aid them in teaching when they return to the traditional classroom. 5. Participants believe that outdoor school experiences need to be incorporated into the student‘s classroom experiences and not be isolated for students to benefit even more from them. 6. Participants believe that attending outdoor school is a transformative experience for both students and teachers. 7. Participants believe that there are barriers and limitations for students to participate in an outdoor school program that need to be addressed because the future of outdoor schools depends on it. 8. There is a lack of evaluation being done by the people who operate and run outdoor schools on their impacts on students, and evaluation that is being done is not being published or distributed widely. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Free choice learning en_US
dc.subject Environmental education en_US
dc.subject Experiential education en_US
dc.title Outdoor Schools: Learning Impacts of Residential Environmental Education Programs as Seen by People Who Run and Work at Such Sites en_US
dc.type Research Paper en_US
dc.description.peerreview no en_US


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