Outdoor experiences and sustainability

Article English OPEN
Prince, Heather (2016)

Positive outdoor teaching and learning experiences and sound pedagogical approaches undoubtedly have contributed towards an understanding of environmental sustainability but it is not always clear how, and to what extent, education can translate into action. It is argued here, with reference to social learning theory, that role modelling, mentoring and sustainable practice, by outdoor educators and using outdoor experiences can contribute to pro-environmental action by offering an array of possibilities to engender pro-environmental behaviour. Pro-environmental behaviour is situated on the spectrum towards the realisation of a sustainable ‘lifestyle’, which implies a stronger and more committed intent, but might constitute too radical a shift with implied structural change. Using Cooper’s theoretical framework of ‘awareness, empowerment and commitment’ the place of role modelling through long term mentoring in real, lived, outdoor environments that embrace pro-environmental behaviour is illustrated but further empirical research is required to substantiate the evidence base.
  • References (1)

    Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive

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