Outdoor Activity Safety Guidelines and Unfamiliar Environments: A Hidden Curriculum?

Andrew Brookes


All forms of organized outdoor activity can—and perhaps should—be evaluated as if they were environmental education, because they may significantly generate and distribute knowledge of, beliefs about, and attitudes towards particular places. Safety guidelines for outdoor activities provide one possible indication of hidden “environmental education” (or mis-education) curriculum in outdoor activities. This article uses historical examples to show how the perspective of an outsider or stranger can be normalized in outdoor activities, and shows how militaristic approaches to places or environments can be discerned in outdoor safety guidelines.

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