‘What a bad idea to camp next to a train station’ – Student learning, benefits and evaluations of outdoor adventure education projects.

Kerstin Helker, Matthias Ruerup

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Abstract

    An ever-increasing number of German schools have implemented so-called
    ‘challenges’. In these ‘challenges’, students get the chance to spend a longer
    period of time, usually two weeks, on a task of their own choice—most often 10
    trips by foot or bike over a large distance and with limited money. By
    implementing these de-schooling projects, schools hope that their students
    would learn to become more autonomous, capable of decision-making and
    problem solving, and thus be better equipped when facing real-world chal-
    lenges in later life. This study explores students’ reports of their learning 15
    experience and benefits of participation, and the effects of various programme
    features such as students leaving their home and familiar environment,
    facing challenges as a team, their role in the development of the challenge idea and whether participation is obligatory. 763 students from 13 secondary schools implementing a ‘challenges’ programme took part in this first cross-sectional exploration of this new phenomenon above singleschool level. Voluntariness and the team aspect of the challenges showed to be the most central factors for students feeling they benefited from the experience. The results suggest that such extracurricular activities may benefit from less regulation by the school.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning
    VolumeXX
    Issue numberXX
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

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