Create your future. Shape your world.
Outdoor Trip Leadership is a 1-credit course for those students interested in a wide-range of fields including adventure education, environmental education, outdoor education, and experiential education. This class also serves as one of the core “applied” courses in the Outdoor Education minor.
Due to the specialty nature of this course, it is enrollment limited to 9 students and, due to its function as a service course for the Outdoor Education minor, will prioritize enrollment for students who have declared or plan to declare minors in Outdoor Education. Finally, this course includes a mandatory field trip component over Spring Break. Students must be able to go on this trip to enroll in the course.
The course will include a brief overview of the history and variety of curriculum projects in outdoor education, giving students a sense of the historical and contemporary context of the field. We will also explore the basics of experiential pedagogy including the experiential learning cycle and the principles of progressive education. Whether your interests are in teaching outdoor adventure skills, facilitating groups and teams, or leading environmental education experiences, all of these programmatic applications draw directly from a common theoretical and practical orientation.
Because the field places a great deal of emphasis on “learning by doing” we will be “doing” a lot in this course. As such, a major portion of the course will be the planning, preparation, and initiation of a field experience conducted over Spring Break. We will use this experience as a way to highlight some of the key aspects of outdoor education program design and implementation including course and lesson plan structure, location and activity selection, skill progressions and sequencing, risk management concerns, facilitation principles, and logistical considerations (among other topics).
However, we will also invest significant time to critically reflect on what we are doing as a way of connecting and making meaning from the experiences as we go through them. We hope that the end result of this combination of framing, practice, and reflection will allow you to come out of this course with practical knowledge, skills, and abilities and a solid introductory sense of some of the broader contexts of the field. And, finally, we hope that some of you may continue to be excited about pursuing this wonderful vocation and choose to stay involved with the Outdoor Education program here at Earlham and spend more time in the outdoors more generally!
*Outdoor Trip Leadership 2013 course area is on National Forest System Lands authorized under Special Use Permit by the Pisgah National Forest.