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The inclusion of Outdoor and Adventurous Activities in the Physical Education curriculum.
Transcript of The inclusion of Outdoor and Adventurous Activities in the Physical Education curriculum.
Why do schools include OAA in PE?
Limitations of OAA in schools
The inclusion of Outdoor and Adventurous Activities in the PE curriculum.
Outdoor education is...
the use of the outdoors for educational purposes. Outdoor Education (OE) often involves small groups actively engaged in adventurous activities for personal growth under the guidance of an instructor or leader
- Neill, 2003
Outdoor Education and the NC
Teacher training or Lack of.
Easy to do activities
To us OE is participating in a range of physically demanding challenges as either an individual or member of a team in a range of outdoor environments. It involves learning new skills other than the physical, such as social and mental skills.
OE is organized learning that usually happens outdoors. However outdoor education can be taught inside with appropriate resources and planning. OA usually involves recreational activities and can involve ‘journey-based’ experiences which involve participating in numerous adventurous challenges such as;
• Rock climbing/climbing
The National Curriculum states that PE helps pupils develop personally and socially. They have the opportunity to work in groups, teams and individuals. They develop concepts of fairness and of personal and social responsibility. (DfE, 2011)
Objectives for outdoor education often correspond with the content of subjects of the National Curriculum. For example, canoeing and climbing techniques relate to physical education, pond analysis to science and knowledge about settlements to geography (Ofsted, 2004)
Types of roles OAA in PE offer are;
The role of the teacher’s job is to help develop the outdoor education program and emphasize on;
•improving problem solving skills
•developing leadership skills
•understanding natural environments
“Outdoor activities, both at school and on residential courses, enable pupils to enjoy challenging and unfamiliar experiences that test and develop their physical, social and personal skills. They can be among the most memorable experiences for pupils of their school days.” Bell, 2004 cited by the English Outdoor Council.
Boniface (2000) state that outdoor and adventurous activities provide numerous opportunities for positive experiences.
Adi et al (2007) propose that children who achieve better success in school are socially and emotionally healthy.
OE promotes children socially and mentally, as it involves a lot of team building exercises and team working activities it develop children’s communicating skills.
The national curriculum suggest that PE develop competence, and OE helps develop children’s mental determination. This includes expressing and dealing with emotions, the motivation to face up to challenges and persevering, the desire to achieve success for themselves and also others, and finally to have the confidence to have a go (DfE, 2011)
As well as schools offering OAA in curriculum, schools have the opportunity to as a result of the activities time consuming, expensive and need for specialist equipment and facilities nature run school trips outside of school hours.
The most popular forms of these trips are Skiing and Water Sports. Other OAA based residential trips such as the Duke of Edinburgh can offer Children awards and Qualifications.
Duke of Edinburgh Case study
Open to participants aged between 14 and 24 the three stages of the awards offer participants the opportunity to create a world where young people can reach their full potential whatever their circumstances.
The official website of the Duke of Edinburgh DofE awards claim that
“We provide a balanced programme of activities that develops the whole person – mind, body and soul – in an environment of social interaction and teamworking.”
(Duke of Edinburgh Award’s, 2012)
One reason that has been found to be a big factor into why schools won’t adopt an OE program is money, or lack of money.
Although some schools ask parents for money to help fund trips it is not possible for parents and families to pay for everything. Some schools may not have the funding to provide learners with trips, facilities and resources that they will benefit from.
Here is a list of the types of things that schools/parents will pay for to send a child on an outdoor educational trip.
• Coach Hire/Mini Bus
• Facilities (e.g. rock climbing centre)
• Each individual child’s activity
(canoeing, rock climbing etc.)
• Refreshments- food/drinks
However it is possible to have elements of an OE lesson in schools with poor funding. Some examples are team building exercises, orienteering and cross country.
Outdoor education can fit under the larger curriculum spectrum of Environmental Education (EE) According to several studies, teachers do not think that they have the knowledge or abilities to teach EE because of lack of training (Plevyak, 1997; Smith-Sebasto & Smith, 1997). One of the reasons for this is cost of training courses. For example a mountain leader training course costs £370.
Another factor that may put of teachers offering OAA in schools is due to the large amounts of paperwork attached to the subject area particularly risk assessments
Risk surrounding OAA can be split into 2 sections perceived risk and actual risk. The difference between the two is fairly self-explanatory. Perceived risks are the danger or harm that the participants thinks the activity holds, whereas the actual risk is the real risk that is present. The perceived risk and actual risk can be very similar for certain activities such as white water rafting. However for certain activities there can be a big difference between the two for example rock climbing; Children may feel high levels of perceived risk but due to the quality and quantity of safety equipment the actual risk is low.
There are numerous sources that back up the question whether OAA is physically beneficial to participants. The range of outdoor activities involves different types of Fitness. Links can be made between the subject and the range and content section of the National Curriculum for PE. The sections that have the most apparent links to OAA are (NCPE, 2012) Exploring and communicating ideas, concepts and emotions, Performing at maximum levels: Identifying and solving problems: and exercising safely and effectively to improve health and wellbeing.
In conclusion, there is evidence to support the argument of whether or not OAA should be included in school curriculum's. If delivered correctly activities can be therapeutically beneficial to the leader and participants. However as stated there are a number of limiting factors which prevent the widespread delivery of OAA in schools. Our personal view is that OAA should be delivered in schools as it offers learners a range of physical and social skills that may not be attainable in a PE environment.
"Secondary Social Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) is a comprehensive approach to promoting the social and emotional skills that
underpin effective learning, positive behaviour, regular attendance, staff effectiveness and the
emotional health and well-being of all who learn and work in schools. It proposes that the skills
will be most effectively developed by pupils, and at the same time enhance the skills of staff." (p.4)
Department for Education and Skills (2007)