Changing climate of outdoor education in the Quebec CEGEP system
Master of Education
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This study examined the manner in which outdoor education programming has changed in the English Quebec College D'Enseignement General et Professionnel (CEGEP) system during the last 20-30 years and the factors contributing to that change. It employs a qualitative case study approach involving participant interviews and document analysis in identifying four major themes of change: curriculum reform, risk management, aging teachers, and student change. Factors contributing to this change include: global educational reform trends, increased risk management awareness and litigation, teacher experience and age, lack of student experience in the outdoors, prevalence of technology, physical health, employment, and student enrolment. The outcome is the recommendation for more course hours, increased professional development for teachers, a dispelling of the misconceptions of outdoor education, new approaches to attracting and connecting with students, as well as continued research in the field in order to verify themes in the broader context of outdoor education.