Addressing the critique: Post Neo-Hahnism and Outdoor Education Practice

Mr David Hayward1,2, Dr Heidi Smith2

1St Patrick’s College, 2University of Tasmania

In Outdoor Education, as Hahnism gave rise to Neo-Hahnism, Neo-Hahnism has in turn given birth to Post Neo-Hahnism: a term that has emerged as a result of recent research into the student experience of outdoor learning. Through the critiques of Neo-Hahnism, Post Neo-Hahnism is seeing a move in practitioners from an anthropocentric view to an ecocentric viewpoint of teaching Outdoor Education.  This presentation asks you to envisage a metaphorical line in the sand between the Outdoor Education practices that resulted in a mountain of critiques and the changes in practice that resulted. To do this, the presentation looks at Hahanian derived Outdoor Education in terms of the re-envisioning process that has occurred in Outdoor Education practice and literature over the past two decades by examining the history and trends in the Outdoor Education critique. It will then present the driving literature behind the paradigm shift from Neo-Hahnism to Post Neo-Hahnism.  The presentation will conclude with a pragmatic argument, engaging how this metaphorical line in the sand helps the in-field practitioner reflect on their practice as we move forward through 21st Century.

 

Insights into Nature Play Holiday Programs – What’s going on?

Amanda Lloyd1

1Outdoor Connections

The nature play phenomenon is gaining momentum in both rural and urban settings around Australia. Planet Ark alarmingly reports only one in four Australian children has ever climbed a tree and half of them have never experienced a bushwalk. Terms such as “helicopter parenting”, “cotton wool kids” and a “screen generation” are entering common vocabulary. Nature play is countering the plastic, television and computer driven childhoods we see around us. It is steering children into the unstructured outdoor spaces of their local areas to foster a connection to nature, develop resilience and develop various aspects of children’s wellbeing.

Bush Playgroups, Bush Kinder and Nature Play are all common terms in this growing movement. One popular mode of delivery is in organised children’s holiday programs for 5 – 12 year olds. While for some parents it’s simply convenient vacation care, are nature play holidays programs really more than that? What are the children attending these outdoor programs gaining? Are they learning the practical outdoor skills? How are the programs impacting children’s time spent outdoors? Could it impact on more formal outdoor education in later years? The Outdoor Connections Nature Play program is utilised as an example to answer these questions and lays the groundwork outdoor educators looking to implement nature play into their settings.

Addressing the critique: Post Neo-Hahnism and Outdoor Education Practice

Mr David Hayward1,2, Dr Heidi Smith2

1St Patrick’s College, 2University of Tasmania

In Outdoor Education, as Hahnism gave rise to Neo-Hahnism, Neo-Hahnism has in turn given birth to Post Neo-Hahnism: a term that has emerged as a result of recent research into the student experience of outdoor learning. Through the critiques of Neo-Hahnism, Post Neo-Hahnism is seeing a move in practitioners from an anthropocentric view to an ecocentric viewpoint of teaching Outdoor Education.  This presentation asks you to envisage a metaphorical line in the sand between the Outdoor Education practices that resulted in a mountain of critiques and the changes in practice that resulted. To do this, the presentation looks at Hahanian derived Outdoor Education in terms of the re-envisioning process that has occurred in Outdoor Education practice and literature over the past two decades by examining the history and trends in the Outdoor Education critique. It will then present the driving literature behind the paradigm shift from Neo-Hahnism to Post Neo-Hahnism.  The presentation will conclude with a pragmatic argument, engaging how this metaphorical line in the sand helps the in-field practitioner reflect on their practice as we move forward through 21st Century.

 

“Something very special happened out there”: Student experiences of connection to nature.

Mr David Hayward1,2, Dr Heidi Smith2, Dr David Moltow2

1St Patrick’s College, 2University of Tasmania

If 21st century Outdoor Education is striving to define its purpose (in at least the Australian curriculum if not many other countries such as Britain, Canada and New Zealand) in a manner of “post hoc rationalization of existing practice”,  then human relationships with nature and connections to place emerges as an increasingly important field of inquiry.

The past two decades have seen a growing body of literature  critique ‘traditional’ neo-Hahnian approaches to outdoor education. In conjunction with this critique is a consistent call for a deeper understanding of the student’s subjective response to field experiences

In light of this, this presentation will share findings from a research project that explored the student experience of nature connection in the affective domain during an extended wilderness experience. Personal narratives of the researcher’s own experience are shared first, followed by early findings from initial teacher educators in terms of how they feel and experience connections to nature.

The research synthesises Martin’s (2005) human to nature relationships signposts and the Affective Domain Taxonomy (Krathwohl, Bloom & Masia, 1964) to create a conceptual framework through which to understand and elucidate the emotional experience of nature connection.

Ruminations of how to teach deep nature connection explicitly to students will also be shared.

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