Larry L. Lang

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership



The primary purpose of this study was to develop an interdisciplinary curriculum model which would improve the conceptualization, of outdoor education by providing a theoretical framework for curriculum development, evaluation, and further research.

In order to create the proposed model, it was necessary to address several related issues. The first phase of the study involved an investigation of current perspectives on outdoor education. Key characteristics and guiding principles were determined to provide a clarification of the substantive structure of this field of study. An analysis and synthesis of the contributions of John Dewey,.L.. B. Sharp, Julian Smith, and other prominent educators provided the basis for the development of a rationale and philosophical foundation for contemporary outdoor education programs.

The second phase of the study was centered on an examination of curriculum development theory. A set of Vcilue orientations derived from an analysis of conventional curriculum designs, coupled with the structural elements of a curriculum model which were formulated by the author, provided the framework for identifying distinctive patterns with respect to existing outdoor education programs. Based on an analysis of 25 representative school programs from three Canadian provinces and seven U.S.A. states, the following five generic models were identified and described: (1) traditional subject-matter model; (2) thematic/conceptual approach; (3) environmental/ecological studies; (4) eidventure pursuits model'; and (5) school camping-.

The final phase: of the study included a detailed description of the proposed interdisciplinary curriculum model for outdoor education. The format used to describe the model was based on the following structural elements of a curriculum model: (1) the’definition, purpose, and goals of outdoor education; (2) the underlying value orientation; (3) the nature and scope of content; (4) implementation procedures'; and (5) the process of evaluation .

One of the main features of the proposed Model Centered on a discussion of a unique body of content for outdoor education. Three main content dimensions were defined: (1) Specially selected outdoor activities; (2) learning processes; and (3) content derived from academic disciplines.