Potential for excellence: interdisciplinary learning outdoors as a moral enterprise

Peter Allison, David Carr, George Meldrum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article is concerned with the place and status of outdoor learning
within formal schooling. In light of recent British outdoor educational
trends, it considers the general educational significance of outdoor
learning in the context of the recent Scottish Curriculum for
Excellence. The article begins with an overview of some key
educational concerns, and – drawing on the philosophies of Aristotle
and Dewey – some discussion of the educational significance of
interdisciplinary teaching and learning. The empirical component of
the article focuses on visits to schools and outdoor education centres
to explore teachers’ understandings of, beliefs about and values
concerning outdoor learning. The article relates these views to the
philosophies of Aristotle and Dewey and to outdoor learning
understood as an essentially interdisciplinary moral enterprise. It
concludes by exploring some possible practical and curricular
implications of teachers’ views in light of the Curriculum for
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-58
Number of pages15
JournalCurriculum Journal
Issue number1
Early online date6 Mar 2012
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2012


  • Curriculum for Excellence; interdisciplinary study; moral enterprise; outdoor learning; personal and social health education; practical wisdom


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