Learning from leisure: Developing nature connectedness in outdoor education
Cosgriff, M. (2011). Learning from leisure: Developing nature connectedness in outdoor education. Asia-Pacific Journal of Health, Sport and Physical Education, 2(1), 51-65.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/5386
The “greening” of outdoor education has received increasing attention from educators in Aotearoa-New Zealand and internationally. Given contemporary global concerns about the scale of environmental issues and the associated recognition that educating for sustainability is a matter of urgency, the continuing exploration of pedagogies promoting human connection to nature is arguably a central concern for outdoor educators. This paper contributes to professional dialogue about outdoor education pedagogies that may facilitate the development of students’ connectedness to, and care for, non-human nature. It draws from an interpretative research project that explored the meanings of nature-based leisure for eleven women aged 40 to 65 years. Findings from that research highlighted an important interplay between women’s conceptions of nature and their participation in leisure. The paper directs attention to three interconnected pedagogical principles that are teased from the women’s stories: repeated immersion in local nature environments, the decentring of traditional performance discourses, and critical reflection. These are presented as key considerations for outdoor education teachers and teacher educators in promoting nature connectedness and care. Recommendations are made for outdoor education researchers and teacher educators for future research directions.
Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation
This article has been published in the journal: Asia-Pacific Journal of Health, Sport and Physical Education. Used with permission.
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