The influence of a methods course on physical education majors knowledge in teaching outdoor adventure education

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Christopher J. Stratton (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Ben Dyson

Abstract: Outdoor adventure education (OAE) is a branch of physical education grounded in outdoor physical experiences involving perceived risk and reflection. At many universities, physical education teacher education (PETE) majors must take at least one course in OAE methods; however, they struggle and lack the confidence to teach units or classes focused on OAE. The purpose of this study was to investigate a methods course on physical education majors’ knowledge in teaching outdoor adventure education. The research questions explored the impacts of PETE majors’ comfort and self-confidence to teach OAE and their perspective of an OAE methods course. By discovering PETE majors’ perspectives, PETE programs can better structure their courses to ensure their majors can plan and deliver adventure-based learning (ABL) programs competently. A qualitative case study approach using semi-structured interviews, focus groups, and researcher reflection journals were used to collect data from a group of 20 PETE majors who were enrolled in one of two different OAE classes offered at a midwestern university. An in vivo coding method was used to highlight the voice of the participants (Miles et al., 2014). Data was analyzed over the course of an academic semester while students were enrolled in their OAE methods course. Three main themes emerged throughout the study, with experience comes comfort and then confidence, safety first, and build it and they will come. The multiple sources of data collected indicated that students expressed a need to find comfort in the content before they would express confidence teaching it. Safety played a factor and was a reoccurring theme students discussed about the presentation of OAE. Finally, course structure played a role in how they felt the course trained them to be a facilitator. Students enjoyed immersive experiences that used active-learning strategies to engage them in the process of learning how to teach OAE. This study supports the need to build OAE methods courses that are structured in a way where experientially grounded active-learning methods are used to immerse students in an OAE program while teaching them how to teach OAE.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2022
Adventure, Comfort, Outdoor, Pedagogy, Physical Education Teacher Education, Self-confidence
Physical education teachers $x Training of
Adventure education
Outdoor education

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