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Education & Language | John Dewey and Education Outdoors - Making Sense of the ‘Educational Situation’ through more than

John Dewey and Education Outdoors

Making Sense of the ‘Educational Situation’ through more than a Century of Progressive Reforms

Quay, John, Seaman, Jayson



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  • The volume is the first to comprehensively examine the many curriculum reform initiatives that have emerged under the broad banner of outdoor education (including nature-study, camping education, adventure education, environmental education, experiential education and place based education) from the perspective of John Dewey’s educational theories.
In this book we take the reader on a journey through the various curriculum reforms that have emerged in the USA around the idea of conducting education outdoors – through initiatives such as nature-study, camping education, adventure education, environmental education, experiential education and place based education. This is a historical journey with an underlying message for educators, one we are able to illuminate through the educational theories of John Dewey. Central to this message is a deeper understanding of human experience as both aesthetic and reflective, leading to a more coherent comprehension of not just outdoor education, but of education itself. Whether we knew it or not, all of us interested in the field of education have been waiting for this book. John Dewey and Education Outdoors is the tool we need to help understand and explain experiential education in general and outdoor education in particular. This is an expertly researched and written account of how and why outdoor education has developed, and been such a vital feature in exemplary educational practices. Because of this work I will no longer have to stumble through some inadequate explanation of the history and philosophy of outdoor education, I can now simply point to this book and suggest that everyone read it. —Dr. Dan Garvey, President Emeritus, Prescott College, Former President and Executive Director, Association for Experiential Education. John Dewey and Education Outdoors is a well-researched book that explores the tenets of Dewey within the contexts of progressive reforms in education. The authors provide detailed explanations of Dewey’s thoughts on education while exploring the historical intersections with outdoor education, camping, and environmental education. While situated within a historical perspective, this book provides insights relevant for today’s discussions on new educational reform possibilities, learning focused on the whole child that includes out-of-school time experiences such as camp, and the development of 21st century skills needed to navigate our global society. —Dr. Deb Bialeschki, Director of Research, American Camp Association.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » curriculum - dewey - experiential education - history - outdoor education

Related subjects » Education & Language

Table of contents 

Illustrations; Acknowledgements; Foreword; 1. Why be Concerned with Outdoor Education?; 2. Just What is Outdoor Education?; A Confused Educational Situation; From Out-of-Doors to Environment to Place; Summary; 3. Outdoor Education and Indoor Education; The Emergence of ‘Outdoor Education’; Origins of Outdoor Education in Nature-study; Progress and Tradition in Naturestudy; From Nature-study to Nature Lore and Camping; The Rise of Traditional and Progressive Camping; Developing Tighter Links between Camping and Schooling; Outdoor Education as Method and Subject-matter; Being Out-of-doors and the Outdoors; Summary; 4. The Environmental Crisis and a Desire for Adventure; Outdoor Education and the Natural Environment; Outdoor Education and Environmental Education; Adventure Education and Environmental Education; Outdoor Education as Experiential Education; A Recent Turn: Outdoor Education as Place-based Education; Summary; 5. Moving Past the Confusion: What is Education?; A Problem of Education, Not Just Outdoor Education; Understanding Education as Experience; Experience as Reflective and Aesthetic; The Problem and Promise of Learning ‘As Such’; Knowing, Doing and Being; Summary; 6. Looking Ahead: Outdoor Education as Occupation; Occupations as Progressive Organization of Education; Occupations and Schooling; The Future of (Outdoor) Education; References; About the Authors;

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