OUTDOOR ADVENTURE EXPERIENCES ENHANCE INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS, IMPROVE SOCIALIZATION, AND FACILITATE GROUP BONDING CO-OPERATION
ABOUT OUTDOOR EDUCATION
At Pacific Academy we treat Encinitas like our educational playground. We believe that an essential part of learning happens outside of the classroom; a time for students to truly become engaged in their lessons.
Students complete "field work" in science to understand and classify plants and animals. In history class students explore museums and create trenches in the sand to better understand World War One trench warfare. In English, students immerse themselves in the outdoors to understand the perspective of famous authors and poets who found their inspiration in nature. They visit local libraries and bookstores to do research on known and unknown authors and discover new and interesting texts. Electives also bring students onto the beautiful beaches where they learn to surf, play lacrosse, practice yoga, snorkel in Oceanography class, and run on the beach!
THE VALUES AND BENEFITS OF OUTDOOR EDUCATION
Outdoor education, training and recreation promote active learning through direct personal experience and offer excitement, fun and adventure within a framework of safety.
Active learning and adventure outdoors can take place in a variety of environments: rural and urban, local and more remote. Outdoor education, training and recreation involve a wide range of experiences, including adventurous activities on land and water and activities with an environmental focus. Methods used include skills-focused learning, problem solving, team building, and self-reliant journeys and activities.
CHALLENGING EXPERIENCE OUTDOORS IMPACTS POWERFULLY UPON A YOUNG PERSONS INTELLECTUAL, PHYSICAL, SPIRITUAL, SOCIAL, AND MORAL DEVELOPMENT.
Use of the outdoors makes a major contribution to physical and environmental education and enhances many other curriculum areas. It contributes to personal growth and social awareness and develops skills for life and the world of work. Qualities such as a sense of responsibility and a purpose in life are nurtured. There is also a great deal of intrinsic enjoyment and satisfaction to be experienced from participation in outdoor activities.
BUILDING SELF-CONFIDENCE AND SELF-ESTEEM IS FUNDAMENTAL TO DEVELOPMENT
Outdoor activities provide valuable alternative, often non-competitive, avenues for achievement, as well as opportunities to develop independence and self-reliance. Through successfully facing up to the challenges which outdoor activities provide, overcoming fears and apprehensions along the way, young people make major strides in confidence, with implications for all aspects of their development.
A POSITIVE ATTITUDE TO LEARNING IS ESSENTIAL IF YOUNG PEOPLE ARE TO MAKE THE MOST OF THEIR EDUCATION
Participation in exciting and enjoyable outdoor activities with teachers and peers reinforces a positive attitude to education and contributes significantly to the general environment of a school. Direct experience outside the classroom stimulates and reinforces learning across many areas of the curriculum, and the use of the outdoors encourages students to take greater responsibility for their own learning.
AWARENESS OF THE NEEDS AND CONTRIBUTIONS OF OTHERS AND THE ABILITY TO SUSTAIN EFFECTIVE RELATIONSHIPS ARE VITAL IN TODAY'S SOCIETY
Experience in the outdoors provides rich opportunities for personal and social development through carefully structured group work in sometimes challenging situations. Trust, care, tolerance and the willingness to give and accept support are all encouraged and anti-social behavior is challenged. Opportunities are presented to exhibit and develop effective inter-personal behavior and to work cooperatively and effectively in teams.
THE PURPOSEFUL USE OF LEISURE TIME IS INCREASINGLY SEEN AS MAKING AN IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTION TO A FULFILLING LIFESTYLE
Outdoor recreation introduces students to a range of worthwhile leisure pursuits which will enrich their future lives, and develops the skills and knowledge essential for safe participation. Outdoor exercise contributes greatly to health and fitness and continuing participation in outdoor pursuits.
OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE ENVIRONMENT IS A KEY ISSUE FACING TOMORROW'S CITIZENS
Active learning and adventure outdoors introduces young people to the environment in a way which develops understanding appreciation, awe, wonder and respect. It fosters sensitivity to the environment, helps young people to see themselves in a global context and helps to develop citizens with an awareness of the need for sustainable use of the world’s natural resources.
TOMORROW'S SUCCESSFUL CITIZENS WILL POSSESS THE ADAPTABILITY TO COPE WITH A RAPIDLY CHANGING WORLD OF WORK AND THE RESPONSIBILITY TO BE AN EFFECTIVE MEMBER OF A COMMUNITY
Challenging outdoor experiences promote the development of communication, problem solving and decision making skills which have currency across a range of occupations. They encourage a positive "opting in" and "can do" attitude. Young people’s horizons are broadened, new challenges come to be relished rather than shunned, and perseverance and determination are reinforced. Values and attitudes developed in a context of shared endeavor help to form a sound basis for responsible citizenship.