A Pedagogy of Place: Outdoor Education for a Changing World
monographposted on 18.08.2020, 14:09 by Brian Wattchow, Mike Brown
A Pedagogy of Place offers an alternative vision for outdoor education practice. This timely book calls into question some of the underlying assumptions and ‘truths’ about outdoor education, putting forward alternatives to current practice that are responsive to local conditions and cultural traditions. In this renewal of outdoor education philosophy and practice, the emphasis is upon responding to, and empathising with, the outdoors as particular places, rich in local meaning and significance. Current outdoor education theory and practice is influenced by cultural ideas about risk and adventure, and by psychological theories of personal and social development. However, in recent decades the professional discourse of outdoor education has made a noticeable shift to include education for the ‘environment’ and ‘nature’. This has resulted in a mismatch between theory and practice: traditional notions of proving oneself ‘against’ the challenges of the outdoors are antithetical to the development of an empathetic relationship with outdoor places, which growing concern with today’s environment demands. This book is the first of its kind to articulate a renewal of philosophy and practice for outdoor education that is in keeping with the educational needs of today’s young people as they grapple with considerable social and ecological changes in a rapidly changing world. The authors draw extensively on international, national and local literature and provide compelling case studies drawn from the Australian and New Zealand contexts.