Using Critical Action Research to Enhance Outdoor Adventure Education Instructional Practice


  • Christopher Pelchat Stanford University
  • Grace Goc Karp University of Idaho


outdoor education, action research, instructional practice


Few research studies have been conducted concerning instructional practices in outdoor adventure education (Crosby, 2000; Phipps & Claxton, 1997). The application of critical action research strategies to enhance instructional practice within an outdoor adventure education preparation program is explored as a possible methodology to add to this knowledge base. The study took place within a program consisting of a collection of college courses called the Outdoor Adventure Leadership Immersion Semester Program (OAL ISP). Nine participants, two apprentice instructors, and the instructor of record were immersed within the experience for four months while conducting the study. Data from evolutive mini group sessions, collaborative discussions, instructional observations, and participant journals revealed three themes regarding the modification of instructional practice. These themes included assessing experience through journal construction, leadership melioration through leader of the day experiences, and enhancing reflection through journal topic development. The methodology used in this study provides a platform from which to examine how to improve outdoor adventure education instructional practice.



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