International Education Research

International Education Research

ISSN: 2291-5273 (Print)    ISSN: 2291-5281 (Online)

Volume 3 (2015), No. 4, Pages 16-31

DOI: 10.12735/ier.v3i4p16

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How Schools with Good Academic Results Justify Their Use of Outdoor Education

Randi Skaugen1  Tove Anita Fiskum1 

1Nord-Trøndelag University College, Institute of Teacher Education, Levanger, Norway

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To Cite this Article     Article Views: 1121     Downloads: 581  Since deposited on 2015-12-29


In this study, we focus on how teachers and headmasters in Norwegian schools achieving good results on national tests justify the use of outdoor education; a practice often considered time-consuming and less effective than traditional classroom education.

   The research strategy used in the study is case studies. The cases are three schools with good academic results. The study is based on seven semi-structured interviews with teachers and headmasters from the three schools. The interviews were analyzed in a comparative analysis process, aiming to develop appropriate categories descriptive of the argumentation for outdoor education.

   The results show that the emphasis on academic outcome is strong, but schools using outdoor education regularly have a broader justification. They recognize outdoor education as a tool that helps create a holistic learning environment. Variation, motivation and social skills are important elements contributing to the child’s holistic learning. Using the statements from teachers as a guide, we introduce “The Flower of Outdoor Education”.

Keywords: Outdoor education, holistic learning, variation, motivation, social skills

To Cite this Article: Skaugen, R., & Fiskum, T. A. (2015). How schools with good academic results justify their use of outdoor education. International Education Research, 3(4), 16-31.

Copyright © Randi Skaugen & Tove Anita Fiskum

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This article is published under license to Science and Education Centre of North America. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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How Schools with Good Academic Results Justify Their Use of Outdoor Education