International Perspectives in Outdoor Education Research


  • Morten Asfeldt University of Alberta – Augustana campus
  • Patrick T. Maher Cape Breton University


In November 2013, a group of about 120 outdoor education researchers gathered at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. We had come together at the 6th International Outdoor Education Research Conference (IOERC) from many corners of the world. Without such events, it can be easy for us as outdoor education researchers (and practitioners) to limit our perspective and inquiry to the people and places of our home range, forgetting that outdoor education is happening in some shape or form in most countries around the globe. The biennial IOERC has become a time of renewal and sharing of ideas for many researchers, a time to be inspired by colleagues’ research, which in turn reframes our own research, and we start viewing and understanding it through a more diverse international lens. In Dunedin, we were selected to co-convene the 7th IOERC and chose to host it at Cape Breton University, on Unama’ki (Cape Breton Island) in Nova Scotia, Canada. The purpose of this special issue of the Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership (JOREL) is to showcase examples of international research, some of which was presented at the 7th IOERC, where 150 researchers from 17 countries lived and learned together.

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Author Biographies

Morten Asfeldt, University of Alberta – Augustana campus

Associate Professor of Physical Educaiton (Outdoor Education)

Department of Social Science

Augustana Faculty

University of Alberta

Camrose, Alberta



Patrick T. Maher, Cape Breton University

Associate Professor, Community Studies

Communities & Connections, School of Arts and Social Sciences

Cape Breton University

Sydney, Nova Scotia


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