This webpage contains a FREE and open-access textbook of academically peer-reviewed chapters about Outdoor Learning (OL), written for Canadians, about Canadians, and by Canadians. OL is defined as an experiential process, which takes place primarily through exposure to nature and the out-of-doors, where the emphasis for subject matter is placed on one or more relationships concerning humans and nature. Five relationships have been identified: intrapersonal (to oneself), interpersonal (among others), ecosystemic (within nature), ekistic (between humans and nature), and spiritual (knowing one's place in the world).
The umbrella term of OL encompasses all forms of experiencing in, for, and about the out-of-doors. These include integrated or separated forms of adventurous and environmental learning across the spectrum of these four fields ordered by increasing complexity.
The earlier definition puts outdoor learning in a nice box that satisfies the policy and procedure makers of our society. However, in the future, we must think outside that box. In many ways Canada is behind other developed nations when examining state-of-the-art practices for outdoor learning, but we do have an advantage in our efforts toward truth and reconciliation with Indigenous Canadians and toward partnerships with nature for change. In a solution-focused manner, we must do more of what is starting to work for us.
While honouring our past work, outdoor learning in Canada is ready for a revolution of new ideas. The ignition for some of those new ideas can be found herein with chapters on indigeneity, decolonization, ecohealth, climate collapse, nature reciprocity, trauma-informed care, racial imbalances, temporary able-bodiedness, and different ways of thinking and acting.
With the plethora of problems related to the Earth’s systems as the result of previous ways of thinking and acting, what we must also begin to “do more of” is include the expert voices from all genders, ethnicities, indigeneities, and orientations. Canada is a diverse pluralistic society and outdoor learning must include all of those elements. To this end, we invite and welcome additional contributions to this living textbook and especially gifts from authors who are not simply defined by an older white cis-male identity.
If you would like to discuss contributing a chapter, please contact the editors at:
s i m o n _ p r i e s t @ y a h o o . c o m (please remove spaces) THANKS!