Designing outdoor recreation and adventure programs
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Designing Outdoor Recreation and Adventure Programs. Carrie Maines & Margie Sawyer. Connecting Secondary Physical Education with the Lives of the Students.

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Connecting secondary physical education with the lives of the students
Connecting Secondary Physical Education with the Lives of the Students

  • Bane McCracken implemented a curriculum consistent with the activities that were available and unique to the mountainous environment of Ona, WV.

  • Many children are ignoring the evidence confirming the health related benefits of engaging in moderate levels of physical activity and opting to lead sedentary lifestyles.

  • Concerned about those ages 12-21.

Contextual description
Contextual Description the Students

  • 1997 NASPE Secondary Teacher of the Year.

  • Cabell Midland High School in Ona, West Virginia.

  • Small rural town located forty miles west of Charleston.

  • Grades 9-12, just over 2,000 students, 6 full time PE teachers.

  • “Introduction to Physical Education”

Cabell midlands outdoor recreation class
Cabell Midlands Outdoor Recreation Class the Students

  • How it began

  • Currently the class consists of mountain biking, white water rafting, downhill skiing, archery, fly fishing, hiking, backpacking, orienteering, leave no trace camp ethics, and wilderness survival.

  • Why these activities?

Class objective to connect the curriculum with students lives outside of school
Class objective: to connect the curriculum with students’ lives outside of school.

  • If/how is this objective being met?

  • Graham (1995) suggests talking to the actual participants.

  • Spring 1997, researchers made several visits and became more familiar with the students.

  • Small group interviews with students who were or had his outdoor recreation class during the 1996-1997 academic year.

The interview
The Interview lives outside of school.

  • End of spring semester.

  • Interviews took place in athletic training room.

  • Tape recorded.

  • Students were questioned about their likes, dislikes, and experiences as part of Mr. McCracken’s outdoor recreation class.

  • Nine triads of students were interviewed.

    • Two triads of females.

    • Seven triads of males.

The interview continued
The Interview Continued lives outside of school.

  • Interviews were transcribed and read on numerous occasions to identify categories of underlying uniformities and common themes of greater generality as recommended by Lincoln and Guba (1985).

  • The students’ names have been changed to provide anonymity.

Students perceptions of their experience
Students’ Perceptions of their experience. lives outside of school.

  • Participation in New Activities

  • Participation Outside of School

  • Expectation of Learning

  • Getting in Shape

  • Demonstrating Learning Through Portfolios

Implications for the k 12 pe teacher
Implications for the K-12 PE Teacher lives outside of school.

  • Health professionals are calling upon us to equip students with the skills and knowledge to be physically active for a lifetime.

  • ”curricula and instruction that emphasize enjoyable participation in physical activity [and] help student develop the knowledge, attitudes, motor skills, behavioral skills, and confidence needed to adopt and maintain physically active lifestyle.”

  • PE must connect curricula with students’ lives outside of school.

An evaluation of adventure education components in a residential learning community
An Evaluation of Adventure Education Components in a Residential Learning Community

  • The Journal of Experiential Education

  • By Andrew J. Bobilya and Lynn D. Akey

  • Fall 2002

Purpose of the study
Purpose of the Study Residential Learning Community

  • The intent of the study was to determine the impact that an adventure education program would have on the students’ in class learning and their overall experience at the university.

Participants Residential Learning Community

  • Students who wanted to take part in the study were required to meet certain criteria:

    • First semester freshmen

    • Member of the MSU Learning Community Program during the 2000-2001 academic year

    • Must work with his/her designated learning community

  • A total of 35 students met the criteria and were eligible to participate; however, only 14 students actually chosen to participate

The adventure education program
The Adventure Education Program Residential Learning Community

  • Included both a high and low ropes course, and a climbing/rappelling wall.

  • Of the 14 students who were chosen to participate, 7 chose the low ropes course and 7 chose the high ropes course

High ropes course
High Ropes Course Residential Learning Community

  • Designed as a circuit program.

    • Students all started the circuit at the same point, and continued until they decided that they had either reached their set goal or completed the circuit.

  • Students could complete the elements individually or as a group.

Elements of the high ropes course
Elements of the High Ropes Course Residential Learning Community

  • Vertical and horizontal cargo nets

  • Log walk

  • Burma bridge

  • Giant swing

  • Dangle duo

  • Corporate Ladder

  • Pamper pole

Low ropes course
Low Ropes Course Residential Learning Community

  • Included more stationary events, such as:

    • Spider’s web

    • T-p shuffle

    • Nitro Crossing

  • Also included many portable events and events without props.

Group interviews
Group Interviews Residential Learning Community

  • Five groups of 2 to 4 participants were randomly selected to take part in group interviews and limited observations in order to determine the overall success of the adventure education program.

  • Each group met for one hour and was given a mixture of 12 open-ended and structured questions.

  • A few examples of the questions:

    • 1) How do you think that your participation on the high ropes course impacted your experiences in the classroom or your overall experiences here at MSU?

    • 2) When do you remember the high ropes course experience, what stands out in your mind?

Group interviews continued
Group Interviews Continued Residential Learning Community

  • During the group interview 2 facilitators were present, while one facilitator led the group discussion, the other audio recorded the discussion and took notes.

  • The results of this study were based on responses given during the group interviews.

  • The data was then analyzed using a data-unit-constant-comparative method, which categorized the transcribed responses into common themes.

What did the researchers learn
What Did the Researchers Learn? Residential Learning Community

  • Determined by the results of the group interviews:

    • The ropes course facilitates:

      • The development of critical thinking skills

      • A personal sense of competence

      • The awareness of peer support

      • The development of peer support for academic success

      • Social integration

      • Community development based upon components of trust, communication and respect

      • Helping students develop personal relationships with faculty

      • Providing an alternative environment for learning and socialization

      • Providing students a bond which is developed through a shared experience

      • The development of teamwork with a community

Common themes
Common Themes Residential Learning Community

  • The results produced three common themes that indicated the overall experience of the students:

    • Connection to Students, Faculty, and the University (The recognition of peer support, social integration, development of community, forming relationships with faculty, and having a common bond with others)

    • Self-learning and Transferable Skills (Critical thinking, personal sense of competence, and teamwork)

    • Support for Academic and In Class Learning (The development of peer academic support relationships, relationships with faculty, personal development, and critical-thinking skills)

Ropes are taking over our children s schools
Ropes Are Taking Over Our Children’s Schools Residential Learning Community

  • Students and teachers talk about the new rock climbing wall in their gym, at Tuckahoe Elementary School in Arlington, VA

    • “They love it,” said Bruce Keith, a physical education instructor at Tuckahoe. “Physical education is not the favorite subject for a lot of kids.” But after the wall was introduced, Keith said, one parent told him, “My kid talked about physical education for the first time.”

    • Jennifer Frias, 10 was one of the risk takers, starting right in on the hardest panel. “I like a challenge,” she said confidently, adding that the usual PE activities like jumping rope and basketball, “aren’t hard for me.”

Implications for the pe teacher
Implications for the PE Teacher Residential Learning Community

  • “The relevance of what is taught both in and out of the classroom is what students will retain as they generalize concepts and ideas across disciplines and into other areas of their life.”

  • “Adventure activities place faculty and students in a novel environment where the entire group works together as partners making decisions, analyzing various options, and following a plan to its conclusion.”

Chapter 9
Chapter 9 Residential Learning Community

  • Participants develop trust, teamwork, leadership, and strategic planning skills.

  • Emphasizes the process rather than the outcome of the activity.

  • “Do-it-yourself-with-guidance approach to learning.”

  • Those skilled at “sports” usually are not the ones to shine.

  • Activities challenge, motivate, and assist in self-actualization of the learning process.

  • Problem solving rather than competitive dominance.

Chapter 9 continued
Chapter 9 Continued Residential Learning Community

  • Create an environment that is “intellectually challenging, personally stimulating, and emotionally rewarding.”

  • Outdoor recreation versus outdoor adventure.

  • Low risk, medium risk, and high risk activities.

  • Role of the teacher: “leading from behind.”

  • Role of the student.

Outdoor activities
Outdoor Activities Residential Learning Community

  • Challenge Ropes Courses

    • Psychological (problem solving, overcoming fear/self-efficacy, belonging.)

    • Social (communication, group membership, trust.)

    • Physical (balance, coordination, agility, strength.)

  • Rock Climbing

    • Psychological (self-efficacy, personal testing, confidence, sensation seeking.)

    • Social (trust, communication, group cooperation.)

    • Physical (muscular strength and endurance, balance, coordination, agility, flexibility.)

Outdoor activities continued
Outdoor Activities Continued Residential Learning Community

  • Hiking and Backpacking

    • Psychological (actualization, catharsis, stress relief.)

    • Social (friendship, sense of community, belonging.)

    • Physical (Cardiovascular endurance.)

  • Camping

    • Psychological (actualization, self-efficacy.)

    • Social (group cooperation, respect for others, communication, friendship, and belonging.)

    • Physical (depends on the type of camp and the activities selected.)

Outdoor activities continued1
Outdoor Activities Continued Residential Learning Community

  • Mountain Biking

    • Psychological (personal testing, self confidence, sensation seeking.)

    • Social (respect for others.)

    • Physical (Balance, coordination, cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, riding skills.)

  • In-line Skating

    • Psychological (personal testing, self-confidence, sensation seeking.)

    • Social (Friendship, belonging.)

    • Physical (Balance, coordination, cardiovascular endurance, skating skills.)

Outdoor activities continued2
Outdoor Activities Continued Residential Learning Community

  • Canoeing and Kayaking

    • Psychological (self-efficacy, self-concept, sensation seeking, personal testing.)

    • Social (respect for others, communication, trust.)

    • Physical (muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular endurance.)

  • Snorkeling

    • Psychological (confidence, self-efficacy, sensation seeking.)

    • Social (respect for others, friendship.)

    • Physical (cardiovascular endurance.)

Outdoor activities continued3
Outdoor Activities Continued Residential Learning Community

  • Cross-Country Skiing

    • Psychological (well being, catharsis.)

    • Social (friendship, respect for others.)

    • Physical (cardiovascular endurance.)

  • Snowshoeing

    • Psychological (actualization, catharsis, stress relief.)

    • Social (friendship, sense of community, belonging.)

    • Physical (cardiovascular endurance.)