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Residential outdoor learning experiences and Scotland’s school curriculum: an empirical and philosophical consideration of progress, connection and relevance

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    Rights statement: © Christie, B., & Higgins, P. (2012). Residential outdoor learning experiences and Scotland’s school curriculum: an empirical and philosophical consideration of progress, connection and relevance. Scottish Educational Review, 44(2), 45-59.

    Accepted author manuscript, 294 KB, PDF document

http://www.ser.stir.ac.uk/pdf/347.pdf
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-59
Number of pages15
JournalScottish Educational Review
Volume44
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Abstract

This paper explores the role and policy context of residential outdoor learning experiences
within Scotland’s school curriculum, and demonstrates that there are fundamental aspects of
outdoor learning that have relevance beyond the educational framework of the time. We
introduce an on-going example of such provision, Aiming Higher with Outward Bound (an
educational initiative developed in 1998 and introduced into 26 secondary schools in North
Lanarkshire, Scotland), and review the programme’s evaluation (Christie 2004; Christie,
Higgins and McLaughlin in review). Using central themes of progression, connection and
relevance we examine that study and the role of residential outdoor learning more generally
to consider its continuing curricular relevance. Furthermore we consider the philosophy and
theory underpinning outdoor learning and begin to articulate the links to the current
educational framework in Scotland (Curriculum for Excellence). In doing so we review recent
research and highlight contemporary changes in the structure and nature of the education
system, such as the implications of the Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS) policy
document ‘Curriculum for Excellence Through Outdoor Learning’ (LTS 2010a). The paper
concludes by offering potential suggestions for future research and development that take
account of emerging policy contexts.

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