This is Teaching From the Land, a blog to connect outdoor, environmental, and experiential educators. By collecting and sharing narratives, best practices, curriculum ideas, and experiences, I believe we can better understand the complex and diverse field that is outdoor education.
Outdoor education is a multifaceted field that intersects with many educational topics, including environmental science, social justice, sustainability, and experiential education. By sharing personal stories and seeking to learn what other people are doing, we can gain a more complete understanding of the many ways of implementing outdoor education, which can in turn inspire us to be better, more well-rounded educators.
Types of posts to expect from this blog include personal narratives from my own adventures and educational experiences, interviews with professionals in the outdoor education or related fields, reviews of relevant literature and media, and reflections on current industry standards and practices. I will also be adding descriptions of various outdoor education companies and higher education programs in an effort to help people seeking a way into the field of outdoor education, but not sure how to get from where they are to where they want to be.
I am especially interested in the intersection of diverse fields, and I believe that outdoor education is uniquely situated to teach participants from the complex nexus of many ideas and areas of study. Nothing exists in a vacuum, and outdoor education and recreation does not happen on a blank slate. Rather, these potentially life changing experiences that participants are having occur in specific places, geophysical locations that are underscored by historical happenings, ecological communities, and the ideas and values that participants and teachers bring with them.
As I explore the ways that various professionals and student-professionals practice outdoor education, I will seek to root my stories in particular places, and examine how place affects the way I teach. In this age of political and environmental uncertainty, I feel that the key to sustaining the field of outdoor education as a viable and relevant agent of change is to develop deep connections to the places in which we live and work, and to teach from that center of power.