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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

Author
Outdoor Ed excluded from national curriculum
earwig
17/04/2012
2:33:33 PM
There is a final opportunity to provide feedback to those deciding on the content and intent of the Australian National Curriculum, which will influence schooling for the next 10 years. Outdoor Education may be excluded.

If Outdoor Education is excluded then the use of camps and outdoor centres for education may decline, robbing students of valuable educational, physical, spritual, emotional and social outcomes.

A group (including teachers, Outdoor Education Australia and Outdoor Council of Australia) have developed is an electronic petition asking people to acknowledge that outdoor education in schools is valuable and should be supported. Please consider signing this petition via the following link

http://www.petitiononlineaustralia.com/petition/outdoor-education-the-national-curriculum/366

Thanks

kuu
17/04/2012
2:56:49 PM
On 17/04/2012 earwig wrote:
>

>A group (including teachers, Outdoor Education Australia and Outdoor Council
>of Australia) have developed is an electronic petition asking people to
>acknowledge that outdoor education in schools is valuable and should be
>supported.
>


Outdoor Education in schools may well be valuable (are there any measurements?) BUT when it is conducted, in LARGE groups, at places like Arapiles then the benefit for students versus the impact on other users presents a different dynamic.

I would question the long term benefit accruing when thirty or so young people, some of whom have not really chosen to be present, find themselves at Arapiles for five days of "climbing" activity that of necessity needs to be delivered at a level suiting the lowest achiever.


D.Lodge
17/04/2012
3:16:03 PM
Kuu it isn't just about a large group of students annoying you at Arapiles. There are some very dedicated Teachers and providers that take motivated and excited kids outdoors, everywhere, and show them there is more to school than books and equations. Should be more of it, not less.
anthonycuskelly
17/04/2012
3:30:58 PM
I dunno kuu, there was a (20+) school group with topropes on something I wanted to lead at Easter: we had a quick chat, they were fine with me sneaking in for a quick lead, and the negative impact on my climbing was... nil. And, let's face it, if they're at as low a level as you're suggesting then they're going to be on short easy things.

kuu
17/04/2012
3:35:10 PM
On 17/04/2012 D.Lodge wrote:
>Kuu it isn't just about a large group of students annoying you at Arapiles.
>There are some very dedicated Teachers and providers that take motivated
>and excited kids outdoors, everywhere, and show them there is more to school
>than books and equations. Should be more of it, not less.

I agree. Totally!

Dedicated teachers, motivated kids, excited kids. All of that is great. And I applaud the teachers and instructors who provide this alternative to books and equations.

However, I would still argue that some groups that use Arapiles as their 'alternative schoolroom' contain a proportion of students who aren't there to benefit from the experience. These 'malcontents' cause problems for their peers and, sometimes, for other people in their vicinity.

One school group in the North Campground during the last full week prior to Easter comprised perhaps twenty or so students. Some of them had elected to take the subject (rock climbing) but some others, those who'd failed to lodge their forms by the required date, were arbitrarily allocated to activities that still had spaces available. Not surprisingly these individuals did not interact all that well with the system.

kuu
17/04/2012
4:48:23 PM
On 17/04/2012 anthonycuskelly wrote:
>I dunno kuu, there was a (20+) school group with topropes on something
>I wanted to lead at Easter: we had a quick chat, they were fine with me
>sneaking in for a quick lead, and the negative impact on my climbing was...
>nil. And, let's face it, if they're at as low a level as you're suggesting
>then they're going to be on short easy things.

Again I don't have an any problem with this kind of thing.

I went to Bushranger Bluff with a new climber and knowing there'd probably be one or more school groups there. We had great conversations with the kids, and instructors, and quite easily fitted ourselves in to climb routes they weren't using.

However (and this is for Dick Lodge), I still make the point that the group sizes usually involved in these exercises are not ideal. So the outcome is less than ideal. The 'instructor to pupil' ratio usually well exceeds what you would expect to observe if the "guide" were instructing a paying adult customer where it might be 1:2 or 1:3 at most.

Thus the 'kids' get a shallow introduction to rock climbing that questionably equips them to (safely) go further in the activity and maybe, on the upside, opens their eyes to the big wide world out there!




Big G
17/04/2012
6:35:16 PM

>Thus the 'kids' get a shallow introduction to rock climbing that questionably
>equips them to (safely) go further in the activity and maybe, on the upside,
>opens their eyes to the big wide world out there!
>
>
I teach at a school that takes outdoor Ed very seriously and I have seen the massive benefits our programs have for our kids. Mostly the activities fall in to building teamwork or challenging students by putting them in uncomfortable situations. Rock climbing does both and I doubt a school group (unless they are a climbing club) are setting out to turn the kids into the next tommy Caldwell.
earwig
17/04/2012
6:55:42 PM
There are restrictions on group size when a school goes with an outdoor ed provider, as with any commercial group.

kuu
17/04/2012
7:16:22 PM
On 17/04/2012 Big G wrote:
>
>I teach at a school that takes outdoor Ed very seriously and I have seen
>the massive benefits our programs have for our kids. Mostly the activities
>fall in to building teamwork or challenging students by putting them in
>uncomfortable situations. Rock climbing does both and I doubt a school
>group (unless they are a climbing club) are setting out to turn the kids
>into the next tommy Caldwell.

Of course, a school that takes outdoor education seriously will see positive results.

My concern is with those schools/colleges that schedule this kind of outdoor activity more as an 'end of term' diversion rather than as a serious curriculum subject.

I'm talking about kids who arrive at Arapiles with no previous experience of camping in the outdoors, kids who need to be instructed in the basics such as putting up their tent.

These kids are not there to participate in serious outdoor education. For them (or some of them at least) it's a week away from normal classroom restrictions.



kuu
17/04/2012
7:30:49 PM
On 17/04/2012 earwig wrote:
>There are restrictions on group size when a school goes with an outdoor
>ed provider, as with any commercial group.
>
Oh yeh! And what are these group size restrictions for Arapiles?

In the period I've referred to above, i.e. the last full week prior to Easter this year, we saw in the North Campground one "Outdoor Ed Provider" handling around seven supposedly 'separate' groups, each of approximately six or seven young people. Thus there were maybe as many as 50 of them, all from the same school {PM me for the details!). This same outdoor provider concurrently had at least one other group based in The Pines.
i

Climbau
17/04/2012
8:59:52 PM
You see it all over Australia, whether it is climbing, canyoning, canoeing, or bushwalking. However I still believe that the majority of commercial groups are operating responsibly, its just that you never really notice the ones doing the right thing.

EDIT: actually, I have only experienced oversized commrcial groups in Nsw and Victoria which are the only important states anyway :P

Climbau
17/04/2012
9:15:26 PM
Interested to know if the experiential learning boffins have actually come up with solid studies supporting outdoor ed in schools. I seem to recall seeing a bunch of stuff from the psychology side, but that was mostly about addressing those already struggling, not as a preventative measure?????
onsight
17/04/2012
9:44:26 PM
Outdoor Education really messed with the accountancy career my mum had planned for me. ;-P

Re group size, I don' think any Outdoor Ed instructor would want a large group size. If it was funded properly then maybe they wouldn't happen so much.

JimmyS
18/04/2012
9:42:38 AM
It is not just commercial groups going through providers... though some people think the sasuage factory is just Outdoor EDUCATION/Environmental Studies ( VET recreation is another thing), but certain schools run their programs straight through the Outdoor Education teachers, and programs are run using their skill and knowledge. It is a program that gets students adverse with experiential learning, and undertaking things they may never get the chance to do i.e. 3 night ski tour in the high plains and during this, students learn about environmental issues and are able to gain instrinsic connections to areas they study and actually give a damn about what happens to it!

... and you never know, one of these students just might pass on their environmental message to friend etc etc

And it would be a shame for such a rich resource and student learning experience to be disbanded. As a Teacher, it would be such a shame for this subject to go amiss. Please click the link
anthonycuskelly
18/04/2012
9:51:16 AM
I'd agree that they're probably not at ideal ratios, but (especially in education) I'd argue it's never ideal. The fact that even some kids are getting this education is a positive thing to me: we chatted to a couple of 16-17 year olds who were taking photos of their toprope anchors (for assessment) and who were just starting to learn to lead. And if 1/4 of the class weren't so into it? Well, their loss, and it's not going to be them on the classic easy routes. Realistically the ratio of keen:other is probably better than any other school subject.
uwhp510
18/04/2012
9:54:09 AM
On 17/04/2012 kuu wrote:
>These kids are not there to participate in serious outdoor education.

Faark, this seems a bit facist.

And here I was thinking that the point of climbing is that it is fun, whereas I should have been engaging in SERIOUS OUTDOOR EDUCATION during all those school trips to araps. Sorry to everyone else who happened to be at araps whilst I was there neglecting my duties to the higher purpose of SERIOUS OUTDOOR EDUCATION, thereby completely ruining your climbing experience.

Doug
18/04/2012
10:17:44 AM
Ultimately, Outdoor Education is about a lot more than a trip to Arapiles. Given that about 85 percent of Australians now live in urban communities, for the survival of our natural environment it's essential to have curricula that directly connects young people to it. Some of this should be through adventure based learning activities, some of it natural history based learning. Both involve kids interacting with the environment in a real and direct way. If there are students at Arapiles - or other crags - who aren't there because they want to be, imaginative educators will find some way to engage them. There's plenty to do at Arapiles other than climb.
I've often wondered if the fact that so many people who fetch up at various crags and treat them like a wide open trash can is a reflection of the fact that they don't feel a part of the environment or connected to it in any way. Unfortunately, Outdoor Education has been getting more and more squeezed out of the picture in recent times with all the shifting of the educational landscape, which has been largely politically driven. If you want things to change, vote Green. They seem to be the only mob who really cares about the environmental future, and who understand the need for people to be connected in a real way to the environment if we are to preserve it.

Climbau
18/04/2012
10:40:12 AM
Btw.
Despite my disapproval of group sizes And dubious practices across the outdoor ed, commercial guiding, and volunteers(aka DofE) i still signed the petition because I do believe in the journey and destination that is pushed by the outdoors development community. Perhaps the only way to fix the ills of the system is to recognise the validity of these programs and the associated value that it adds to not only the lost but those setting out on their journey through life.
IMHO :)

Pat
Online Now
18/04/2012
11:56:15 AM
My oldest daughter is in and outdoor ed programme at her public high school. For her it is about balancing the academic stuff she is doing, and being able to extend something that she does in her home arena into her school life.

There are 19 messages in this topic.

 

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