Pub. Date:
Human Kinetics, Inc.
Teaching Adventure Education Theory: Best Practices

Teaching Adventure Education Theory: Best Practices

by Robert Stremba, Christian Bisson
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Teaching Adventure Education Theory: Best Practices offers stimulating, fun, and engaging activities instructors can use to assist future adventure educators, outdoor leaders, and group facilitators in making the connections between adventure theory and practice. Written for students and instructors who want their classroom experience to be as involving as the field environment, this professional reference features ready-to-use lesson plans that employ experiential education strategies for presenting the theory underlying the technical and facilitation skills required in leading adventure experiences.

Editors Stremba and Bisson and leading adventure educators from the United States, Canada, Australia, and Japan provide an extensive perspective on teaching adventure theory, philosophy, history, and conceptual models through the use of activity-based learning. They offer a collection of 34 lesson plans that can be easily modified to fit individual teaching styles or student needs. Each lesson plan provides detailed activity instructions, teaching suggestions, and an overview of the theory taught in the lesson to provide the instructor with background conceptual material. An instructor CD-ROM, included with the text, contains student handouts, worksheets, and PowerPoint presentations to facilitate lesson implementation and assessment.

Teaching Adventure Education Theory presents experiential lesson plans covering such topics as these:

-Instructional theory and curriculum design processes

-History of adventure education

-Educational and philosophical foundations of adventure education, including lessons on John Dewey's contributions

-Central theories supporting common field practices, including optimal arousal theory, self-efficacy theory, attribution theory, and the flow theory

-Leadership models and theories

-Ethical and social justice issues

-Group development and social psychology

-Processing and facilitation models

-The human-to-nature connection

The book introduces core curriculum theories and models of adventure education, including a rationale on why students should know theory and how broader competencies within adventure education often align with colleges' liberal arts outcomes. It also explores the common pedagogical threads present in effective adventure education teaching processes and discusses the challenges and rewards of teaching adventure education. The book also provides a framework for implementing the lesson plans.

Teaching Adventure Education Theory: Best Practices assists instructors in bringing to the classroom the experiential learning, critical reflection, and interdependent community that a challenging outdoor environment facilitates, helping students broaden their view of adventure education to encompass its theoretical dimensions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780736071260
Publisher: Human Kinetics, Inc.
Publication date: 01/21/2009
Edition description: Book and CD-ROM
Pages: 408
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 10.90(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 5 - 18 Years

About the Author

Bob Stremba, EdD, is associate professor and director of adventure education in the department of exercise science at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, where he teaches a wide range of adventure courses both in the field and in the classroom. As a seasonal instructor and course director for Outward Bound Wilderness, Stremba enjoys the opportunity to put the theories of adventure education into action.

Stremba has developed adventure education programs at three universities in the United States and has taught conceptual, theoretical, and technical adventure skills to undergraduates for nearly 10 years, using experiential and hands-on activities to illustrate concepts and theories in his classroom teaching. He has presented his work on experiential education for adventure theory at several conferences for the Association for Experiential Education (AEE) and the Wilderness Education Association.

A member of AEE, Stremba also serves on the board of directors and as a member of four AEE international and regional conference committees, and he is a former member of the AEE's Accredidation Council. He is also a member of the Wilderness Education Association.

Stremba resides in Durango and enjoys backpacking, moutain biking, and snow skiing.

Christian A. Bisson, EdD, is an associate professor of adventure education at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, New Hampshire.

Bisson earned his doctorate in physical education with a specialization in pedagogy. He is a former editor of the CORE Newsletter for the Association for Experiential Education (AEE) Schools and Colleges professional group and served on the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) Clearinghouse on Rural and Small Schools. Bisson was also an Outdoor Education editorial board member from 2001 to 2004.

In 2000, Bisson received an Outstanding Teaching Award from Northland College. He also received the Outstanding Experiential Teacher of the Year Award from the Association for Experiential Education in 1997.

He and his wife, Julie, reside in Plymouth. In his free time, Bisson enjoys parenting and, when possible, woodworking, hiking, and paddling.

Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction to Teaching Adventure Education Theory
Chapter 1:
The Unique Curriculum of Adventure Education
Chapter 2: Teaching Theory, Facts, and Abstract Concepts Effectively

Part II: Instructional Theory
Lesson 1:
Addressing Multiple Ways of Knowing in Adventure Education
Kate J. Cassidy
Lesson 2: Multiple Intelligence Theory and Learning Styles
Mary C. Breunig
Lesson 3: Using Backward Design: A Methodology to Develop Experiential Lessons
Alison Rheingold

Part III: History
Lesson 4:
Visionary and Actionary: The Influence of Hahn and Petzoldt on the Development of Adventure Education
Christian A. Bisson
Lesson 5: A History of Outdoor Adventure Education in the United States
Ed Raiola and Marty O'Keefe
Lesson 6: Creating History: Exploring the Past and Future of Adventure Education
Jacquie Medina
Lesson 7: Adventure Education History Roundtable
Brad Daniel

Part IV: Educational and Philosophical Foundations
Lesson 8:
The Four Uses of Outdoor Adventure Programming
Bob Stremba
Lesson 9: Philosophical Influences in Outdoor, Adventure, and Experiential Education
Christian A. Bisson
Lesson 10: Teaching Dewey's Experience and Education Experientially
Mary C. Breunig
Lesson 11: How Do We Learn? An Exploration of John Dewey's Pattern of Inquiry
Leslie E. Rapparlie

Part V: Theoretical Foundations
Lesson 12:
Creating the Right Amount of Challenge: Optimal Arousal Theory and the Adventure Experience Paradigm
Christian A. Bisson
Lesson 13: I Think I Can: Self-Efficacy Theory in Adventure Programming
Christian A. Bisson
Lesson 14: Attribution Theory in Adventure Programming
Christian A. Bisson
Lesson 15: Flow Theory: Risk Taking and Adventure Experiences
Ed Raiola and Marty O'Keefe

Part VI: Leadership Theories
Lesson 16:
Conditional Outdoor Leadership Meets Kolb's Learning Cycle
Bob Stremba
Lesson 17: Three Functions of Leadership Essential to the Welfare of a Group
Denise Mitten
Lesson 18: Using Situational Leadership Theory in Decision Making
Maurice Phipps
Lesson 19: Decision-Making Traps
Bob Stremba

Part VII: Professional Ethics and Social Justice Issues
Lesson 20:
Introduction to Social Justice in Outdoor Adventure Education
Karen Warren
Lesson 21: Outdoor Leadership With Gender in Mind
Karen Warren
Lesson 22: The First-Generation Condition in Adventure Education
Jackson Wilson, Aya Hayashi, and Alan Ewert
Lesson 23: Be Safe Out There: Critically Thinking Risk in Adventure Education
Denise Mitten and Martyn Whittgham

Part VIII: Group Development
Lesson 24:
Small Group Development in Outdoor Adventure
Karen Warren
Lesson 25: An Alternative to Tuckman: Three Factors in Group Development
Kate J. Cassidy
Lesson 26: Setting the Stage: How to Get the Group Norms You Want
Denise Mitten
Lesson 27: Setting Group Norms and Expedition Behavior
Maurice Phipps

Part IX: Processing and Facilitation Models
Lesson 28:
Six Generations of Facilitation
Bob Stremba
Lesson 29: Visual Reflections: Using Photographs to Facilitate Adventure Experiences
Jacquie Medina
Lesson 30: Growth at the Edge: Expanding Our Comfort Zones
Bob Stremba

Part X: The Human–Nature Connection
Lesson 31:
My Land Is Your Land Too: American Public Land and Multiple-Use Policies
Christian A. Bisson
Lesson 32: Loving Nature Through Adventure: Examining Human–Nature Interaction
Peter Martin
Lesson 33: A Walk in the Woods: Teaching Ecopsychology Experientially
Bob Henderson and Deborah Schrader
Lesson 34: Loving the Land for Life: The Vital Role of Recreation Ecology
Kelly Rossiter


Reference or supplemental text for college and university professors teaching adventure education, outdoor education, and related disciplines.

Reference for undergraduate and graduate students preparing for a career as an adventure educator or for educators teaching the basics of adventure theory in schools, agencies, and organizations that provide adventure, outdoor, and wilderness programs.

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