Adventure education: Redux

Mike Brown, Simon Beames

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article discusses the meanings of adventure and its role in learning. An analysis of literature from the fields of education, recreation and tourism suggests that definitions of adventure are constantly undergoing revision and reinterpretation. We highlight how ‘narrow’ views of adventure, which appeal to notions of risk and danger, are paradoxically shaped by control and predictability. A focus on activities involving risk and danger conspires to limit the pedagogical potential of adventure. We argue that current forms of adventure education practice fail to meet the needs of learners who are confronting a world of increasing rates of change, unpredictability, and complexity. In order to better understand the broader social and educational landscape, we briefly outline some of the salient features of late-modernity that require learners to cope with uncertainty in their every day lives. We suggest an alternative approach to adventurous learning that embraces features of late-modernity and takes as its starting point the everyday life of the learner.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-306
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning
Issue number4
Early online date18 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2017


  • learning
  • adventure
  • mastery
  • authenticity
  • agency
  • uncertainty


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