University Of Tasmania

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Is outdoor education a discipline? Provocations and possibilities

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 05:49 authored by Dyment, JE, Potter, TG
Outdoor education is often undervalued. As such, we believe there is merit in critiquing the field and focusing more attention on its value and importance. This paper seeks to offer a critical exploration of ‘if’ and ‘how’ outdoor education is a discipline. The paper begins with a brief overview of the literature that seeks to define a ‘discipline’. We then present a six-component discipline model and examine whether and how outdoor education aligns with its first three components: a focus of study; a worldview or paradigm; and an active research or theory development agenda. In our analysis of these components we seek to not be definitive; rather, we invite readers to ponder our evidence in light of their lived experience. The ultimate hope is that this paper will encourage readers to deliberate the arguments that arise as a consequence of assessing outdoor education as a discipline. In doing so we hope to challenge readers to conceptualise outdoor education in innovative ways and to stimulate critical discourse to strengthen the field so that it may realise its potential and best serve society.


Publication title

Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning








Faculty of Education



Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2014 Institute for Outdoor Learning

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Teaching and curriculum not elsewhere classified

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