• Camping on Concrete: Professional Development for Adventurous Activities in Wales

    Research Articles

    Camping on Concrete: Professional Development for Adventurous Activities in Wales

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Abstract

The growing discourse around 'cotton wool kids', risk aversion, childhood health, activity levels and nature de cit (Gill 2009; Munoz 2009; Louv 2006) has led to concerns about the experiences of children and young people in the education system. By contrast recent changes in the National Curriculum for Physical Education in Wales (2008) have increased the emphasis on learning in the outdoors. At Key Stage 2 (ages 8–11) the programme of study for Physical Education now includes Adventurous Activities1 as a statutory entitlement. A new Outdoor Learning Cards resource and training programme has been developed to assist teachers in the delivery of 'high quality outdoor learning activities and to help young people develop a range of skills related to these activities' (Outdoor Education Advisors Panel, 2008, p. 4). Four designated outdoor learning activities have been identified as the focus of the Outdoor Learning Cards: journeying, team building, bouldering and orienteering. The aim of this research is to investigate the impact of the Outdoor Learning Cards training and resource on adventurous activities provision in schools in west Wales. Data for the study was generated via open-ended questionnaire (23% response rate) and selected interviews from a total of 90 teachers who had attended the training course. Findings suggest that the training and resource is valuable in developing teacher's confidence and expertise. There is also evidence of a broader impact upon complementary forms of adventurous activities pedagogy in schools. Children are reported to be highly enthusiastic and engaged in physical education lessons when using the resources. Teachers also highlighted the positive impact of adventurous activities upon the development of their Key Skills understanding. The research raises issues relating to the limitations and potential of the Outdoor Learning Cards resource to deliver high quality adventurous activities in the curriculum as well as implications for future training course delivery and school-based teacher practice.

How to Cite:

Williams A. & Wainwright N., (2014) “Camping on Concrete: Professional Development for Adventurous Activities in Wales”, Wales Journal of Education 17(1).

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Published on
01 Oct 2014
Peer Reviewed