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Place-responsive Education: Student perspectives

The importance of student perspectives in curriculum innovations is well established. Until recently accounts of adolescent male experiences during a place-responsive education (PRE) programme have not been extensively researched within outdoor education literature. This research aims to address this gap in our knowledge by investigating the following two questions: • What are student perspectives of a PRE approach to an outdoor education trip? • Is a PRE approach an appropriate pedagogy for senior level outdoor education in Secondary Schools in New Zealand? A group of Year 12 and 13 (16 to 18 years old) male students, enrolled in a senior level outdoor education programme, were asked to give their perspectives on a PRE trip. This thesis utilised photo-elicitation interviews as a means to gain students’ perspectives on their experiences. Students were provided with cameras and asked to take photographs to demonstrate what the trip was like for them. After the trip interviews were conducted with four participants. The interviews revealed seven themes which support PRE as a possible alternative to traditional pursuit-driven approach utilised in my school’s existing programmes. PRE is multi-disciplinary approach focusing on exploring local places to establish a connection for students, this connection is then available to encourage and engage students. The findings of this study showed students engaged and connected with local places in a meaningful way which increased motivation, personal and social development, and positive agency within the community of those on the trip. The students’ interview comments supported the use of less risky activities, slow travel methods and the use of sensory exploration encouraged by PRE allowing them to learn from the situations in which they found themselves. The use of photo-elicitation interviews as a research method for research with young males is discussed. Providing students with cameras proved to be an engaging and effective way for students to be a part of academic research. This study contributes to the emerging literature on PRE within senior level outdoor education in New Zealand secondary schools, as well as to the role of student perspectives within research on curriculum innovation.
Type of thesis
Taylor, C. (2014). Place-responsive Education: Student perspectives (Thesis, Master of Sport and Leisure Studies (MSpLS)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/8725
University of Waikato
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