Outdoor Environmental Education in the United Kingdom: a Conceptual Framework of Epistemological Diversity and its Educational Implications

Robbie Nicol

Abstract


Outdoor education in the United Kingdom is long on practice and short on theory. The theory that has developed belongs to the tradition of humanistic psychology which celebrates the development of self and others. Theoretical development has not treated the relationship between self, others and the environment particularly well. This paper begins to address the balance by drawing on secondary sources which deal with elements of environmental philosophy. In reviewing the literature I found that there was a great deal of environmental philosophy which dealt with ethical and moral issues. However, there was less said about educational implications and less again about using the outdoors as an educational medium. To fill the gap between ethics, morals and educational implications in the outdoors I have introduced a framework of epistemological diversity. The purpose of this paper therefore is to offer outdoor educators a way of thinking about outdoor education which transcends the focus of self
and others to include relationships with the environment.

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