We love them anyway: outdoor environmental education programs from the accompanying teachers’ perspective

Jan Cincera, Jan Zalesak, Miloslav Kolenaty, Petra Simonova, Bruce Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The ways in which residential outdoor environmental education programs are perceived by the teachers accompanying their elementary school students have rarely been investigated. In this study, interviews were conducted with 17 elementary school teachers who had participated in one of five selected residential programs in the Czech Republic in 2018 – 2019. As the findings show, all the teachers found the residential programs beneficial for their teaching. However, a majority of the teachers reported that the most significant outcome was the improvement in the students’ interpersonal competence and in the relationship between the teachers and their students. Interestingly, the effect of the residential programs on developing the students’ environmental understanding, attitudes, and values remained secondary or was questioned by the teachers. The aspect that the teachers appreciated most was the application of experiential learning methods providing emotional experiences for the students. The paper discusses the possible reasons for such perceptions of these programs and the implications for practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-257
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Outdoor and Environmental Education
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Keywords

  • Experiential learning
  • Outdoor environmental education
  • Residential programs
  • Teacher satisfaction
  • Teachers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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