Curriculum development in outdoor education: Tasmanian teachers' perspectives on the new pre-tertiary outdoor leadership course
Dyment, J and Morse, M and Shaw, S and Smith, H, Curriculum development in outdoor education: Tasmanian teachers' perspectives on the new pre-tertiary outdoor leadership course, Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning, 14, (1) pp. 82-99. ISSN 1472-9679 (2013) [Refereed Article]
The paper examines how outdoor education teachers in Tasmania, Australia have implemented and perceive a new pre-tertiary Outdoor Leadership curriculum document. It draws on an analysis of in-depth semi-structured interviews with 11 outdoor education teachers. The results revealed that teachers were generally welcoming of the new higher-order curriculum and associated assessment strategies. They also believed that the new course appealed to a broad range of students, including those primarily focused on tertiary entrance scores, and that students were benefiting from the new curriculum. However, the teachers' support was tempered by strong critique around the lack of direction in the actual curriculum document, the failure to provide a teaching resource document, concerns around assessment strategies as well as the lack of adequate professional development. Despite these critiques, the apparent short-term success of the roll-out has come from a strong community of practice among the outdoor educators. The results of this curriculum change process are analysed using a socio-cultural model. They are also considered in light of curriculum change processes in other marginalized curriculum areas, such as health and physical education. The implications are discussed in light of the marginalization of outdoor education within education circles at a state and federal level.