Outdoor adventures - Study on the Highland Adventures School Journeys This thesis is about a study on Highland Adventures School Journeys (HAJ) in Smáraskóli that is an elementary school. The three main research questions are: (1) What is the ideology of the HAJ and how does it relate to friluftsliv, outdoor and adventure education? (2) What is the experience of participants making these journeys? (3) What opportunities are offered by the journeys to work with ethics of care? The theoretical context provides descriptions of key concepts in the field of friluftsliv, outdoor- and adventure education and a foundation is laid for Icelandic definitions and vocabulary. The thesis deals with play, learning and development from the perspectives of formal, non-formal and informal education. Pedagogies concerned with learning out-of-doors as seen from the Nordic and the Anglo-Saxon perspectives are presented. An in depth presentation is made of the basic elements of outdoor education, i.e. experiential learning, change zones and challenges, and a special discuss-ion is about the Ethics of Care based on the theories of Nel Noddings.The travel project of Smáraskóli is a runs continuously through all the classes, from 1-10. All stages of the project and participation are described; aims for each age-group, working methods, costs. A particular emphasis is on the highland journeys of the teenagers, class 8-10.The main results are that the ideology and methods are well formed and the most obvious theoretical connection is to adventure education, and the methodology is partly connected with methods of experiential learning. The students participate in a profound experience that strengthens them, especially the group and also as individuals. Opportunities are created to practice care for oneself, for close and distant others, nature and ideas. The outcomes from this research can be used to develop and disseminate the project, to highlight the rich experience of the participants and how it relates to Ethics of Care. Furthermore it presents and explains concepts that are essential to deepen and develop the discourse of play, learning and development out-of-doors. The thesis can be of use to practitioners in schools, associations and the field of leisure.
The journeys have a (well) founded pedagogy and resembles mostly to definition on adventure education.But “adventure” is also like a overused adjectivethat can over time lose its meaning. The pedagogy was implicit rather than explicit. There were e.g. no mention of friluftsliv, outdoor og adventure education in text or the interviews . I see more variety in definitions within OE and that gave me a more a change to be more accurate. 4. There are many similarities and differences in OE, AE and Friluftsliv. The difference is e.g. regarding activities, workingmethodsandconcepts. The two “traditions” (streams) “hug-taka” (conceptualizes) the world in different ways. The cultural and historical rots are different. The similarities are e.g. Nature:E.g. a shelter from the “real” world.We are human:Empathy / care for self, others and natureDealing with the unpredictable, unorganized and uncontrolled.The international dialogue / discourse is becoming more universal, cross effect between the “streams”.
Sandell (2003) argues that there exist at least three dimensions of the concept friluftslivfriluftsliv as social phenomena and study object (mostly neural, within research)friluftsliv as politics and ideology (ideological, politics, organisations etc)friluftsliv as personal and educational view (persons, teachers etc. view, opinion etc. of friluftsliv)
“Outdoor adventures- Study on the Highland Adventures School Journeys”
Into the woods: About the significance of woods and wilderness for Youth work in Europe Outdoor adventures “Outdoor adventures- Study on the Highland Adventures School Journeys” Jakob F. Thorsteinsson University of Iceland, Faculty of Sport Sciences, Social Education and Leisure Studies 8th of October
Jakob F. Thorsteinssonadjunct at the University of Icelandjakobf@hi.isBorn in 1969 and a teacher by education with MA in Learningand Teaching Studies with emphasis on Outdoor Education.I have a 12 years experience in social and leisure work,taught in primary school for two years and since 2004 inUniversity of Iceland (Education - Faculty of Sports, SocialEducation and Leisure Studies) and at Hólar University (RuralTourism).Been working in a various experiential programs for over 10years; as an trainer for The Challenge Ltd, and as an adjunctat the University of Iceland were I teach courses on Outdoorand adventure education, The outdoors, play and education,Outdoor Journeys and friluftsliv and Leisure studies, se moreat http://www.hi.is/en/simaskra/4249I have also been a active member in various voluntaryorganization such as the Scouts, Icelandic Association forSearch And Rescue (ICE-SAR), The Icelandic Youth Associationand a Sailing club.
Menue1. The schools go into the woods in Iceland …2. Why did I do the research3. The Journeys – the Outdoor program in the school4. Research questions5. Methods6. Findings
The travel project 1st grade stays over night at the school (Oct). 2nd , 3rd and 4th. grade stay overINTRODUCTION night in a community center in the countryside and take part in a sheep round up (Sept) 5th grade stays over night in a environmental center (Alviðra).
The travel project 6th grade takes a bicycle tour from the school to Grótta (15 km)INTRODUCTION 7th grade stays for five days in a Outdoor centre at Reykir in North of Iceland. Extra: Every year a hill and a mountain walks for each year.
The Journeys 8th grade takes a hiking journey, in separate gender groups. The teenagers hiked 50 km trek in four days in the Icelandic Highlands (interior),INTRODUCTION 9th grade takes a three days gender- mixed bicycle journey. They bik a distance of 100 km in the Icelandic Highlands. 10th grade takes a tow days gender- mixed bicycle journey. They biked a distance of 70 km in the Icelandic Highlands.
QUESTION FOR US!What do we think the students could gain from sucha program?
Research questions1. What is the ideology behind the Highland Adventures School Journeys and how does it relate to friluftsliv, outdoor and adventure education?2. How do the pupils and staff members (participants) experience the journeys?3. How is it possible to work with ethics of care in adventure journeys?
Research methods Parents Quantitative Questionnaire Teachers Students Principal Mixed research design Interviews Teacher Students Qualitative Pictures from the journeys ObservationsAutumn 2007 during the jouneys Field notesSpring 2008 Short studentsSpring 2010 journals 17
Four dimensions in analyzing the data Jakob ... Students School curriculum School Teachers master
The main conclusions• The main results are that the ideology and methods are formed and the most obvious theoretical connection is to adventure education, and the methodology is partly connected with methods of experiential learning.• The students participate in a profound experience that strengthens them, especially the group and also as individuals.• Opportunities are created to practice care for oneself, for close and distant others, nature and ideas.
General• Participation in the journeys 2007 Total Participation Rate Boys Girls Total Boys Girls Total Boys Girls 8th grade 27 22 49 27 21 48 100% 95% 9th . grade 27 26 53 25 18 43 93% 69% 10th grade 25 32 57 20 17 37 80% 53% 79 80 159 72 56 128 91% 73%
What is the ideology behind the Highland Adventures School Journeys and how does it relate to friluftsliv, outdoor and adventure education?RESEARCH QUESTION 1
Conclusions 11. The journeys have a founded pedagogy and fits best definitions on adventure education. – It was easier to find definition that fitted the journeys within Outdoor Educaton than with Friluftsliv . Friluftsliv is a broad term that is difficult to handle. • Example: A goal can be to work with personal and/or interpersonal growth or work with environmental responsibility. = Adventure education or environmental education2. Theoretical anchoring of pedagogical outdoor work in Iceland is still in its early stages.3. We have very limited or disordered discourse (concepts) in Icelandic over friluftsliv, outdoor and adventure education.
Definitions of Adventure EducationAdventure education – the one used Direct, active, and engaging learning experiences that involve the wholeperson and have real consequences. Educational activities and experiences,usually involving close interaction with the natural environment and within asmall group setting that contain elements of real or perceived risk. Theoutcome, while uncertain, focuses on the intrapersonal and interpersonaldevelopment of the individual or group. (Prouty, Panicucci og Collinson,2007:229). Beint og virkjandi reynslunám sem tekur til persónunnar í heild og hefuráhrif á hana í reynd. Um er að ræða virkt nám og reynslu sem oftast gerist ínánum samskiptum við náttúruumhverfi, á sér stað innan lítilla hópa og felur ísér raunverulega eða skynjaða áhættuþætti. Niðurstaðan er bundin óvissu enáhersluatriði eru þroski einstaklings og hóps, innri þroski einstaklings ogfélagslegur þroski Back
Definitions of Friluftsliv - officialSweden:• Friluftsliv is living outside in the nature- and culture landscape for the purpose of well-being or to gain experience of our natural surroundings without the demands of competition. (Erik Backman transaltion)• Friluftsliv är vistelse och fysisk aktivitet utomhus för att uppnå miljöombyte och naturupplevelse utan krav på prestation eller tävling. (Näringsdepartementet, 1999:20).Norway:• Friluftsliv is abiding and being physically active in the open air in leisure time, with the purpose of environmental change and nature experience. (Dag T. Elgvin translation)• Friluftsliv er opphold og fysisk aktivitet i friluft i fritiden med sikte på miljøforandring og naturopplevelse. (Miljøverndepartementet, 2001). Back
How do the pupils and staff members (participants) experience the journeys?RESEARCH QUESTION 2
I and We• The overall effect on self-esteem and self confident of the individual participant were not clear – Self-esteem (on the Rosenberg scale) were not done shortly after the journeys. – The interview with the teenagers indicate that at least part of the group say that the journeys had a positive effect on their self-esteem.• The data is much clearer about the overall effect on the connections in the group – Many things indicate that the highland journeys has a strong positive effect on friendship and a strengthens the relationship between the participants.
I, the effect on me Strongly disagree Disagree Agree Strongly agree Grade Grade GradeMy self-esteem has increased after the journey. Sjálfstraust mitt hefur aukist eftir ferðina, bekkir.
We, the effect on the groupStrongly disagree Disagree Agree Strongly agreeIn the journey we the students became better friends. Strongly disagree Disagree Agree Strongly agree After the journey I made more friends
Important elements for...• The teenager are the hardship, fun, being together, getting to know etch other, separate gender groups, the pride, increased self-esteem and more physical endurance• The teachers are fun journeys, well organized, better connection with the students, proud over the children accomplishments and a positive personal experience for them self.
Learnings ...“This is all a big adventure kids. I stronglyrecommend that you go. One gets to know theothers better. One gets to know your self muchbetter. The endurance goes up and you learn a lotthat you can´t learn from no one ells than your self.This is just fun and nothing ells.”„We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it forourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us“ Marcel Proust (1871–1922).
The main elements - summary• The circumstance / situation has the strongest influence on the individuals, the group and the communication. – The factors are nature, weather and the challenges. – Social environment: travel companions and being together in the huts and walking or biking in the Highlands• Overcome risk and challenges.• The journey are based on choice and that gives the participant more ownership of their learning.
Thank you!CLOSING A short introduction of the Journeys link
ReferencesProuty, D., Panicucci J. &Collinson R. (ritstj.) (2007). Adventure Education. Theory and Application. Champaign IL: Human Kinetics.Näringsdepartementet (1999). Statens stöd till friluftsliv och främjande organisationer. Ds 1999:78.Miljøverndepartementet (2001). Friluftsliv – En veg til høgare livskvalitet. 27. júlí 2010 on http://www.regjeringen.no/nn/dep/md/dokument/proposisjonar-og-meldingar/stortingsmeldingar/20002001/stmeld-nr-39-2000-2001-.html?id=194963