An Examination of Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Pre-Service Outdoor Education Teachers

Thomas Macqueen

University of Tasmania


Outdoor Education is a field which has contention in literature around whether it has the merit to be considered as a teaching discipline, with specific content to offer. One explanation for this contention is the complexities in teaching Outdoor Education are easily overlooked, and in the eyes of curriculum developers and some teachers, it is not perceived as academically rigorous. In light of this, a framework has been developed which examines the complexities of Outdoor Education through the pedagogical content knowledge required to teach it. Pedagogical content knowledge is a form of knowledge which blends together a persons’ knowledge of content with their knowledge of delivering the content. It is a knowledge base which is well researched in fields such as mathematics, science, and drama. Through an honours research project, this framework was trialled with 6 graduating Outdoor Education students against the TASC 3 Outdoor Leadership course. This framework, along with some of the findings from the research are introduced in this session.


Thomas Macqueen is an Outdoor Education teacher here in Tasmania, having graduated from the University of Tasmania with Honours in 2017. He has a passion for building community through using outdoor experiences to develop relationship and leadership skills. Thomas works across a number of different schools in Tasmania.

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