Real World LearningReal

Values and Frames in Outdoor Learning

Sir David Attenborough wisely points out that “No one will protect what they don’t care about; and no one will care about what they have never experienced”. We find ourselves at a point in time where the natural world is in dire need of our positive attention, yet where we are increasingly disconnected as a species from nature upon which we ultimately rely for our existence.

It is well documented that outdoor learning experiences early in life play an important role in developing more sustainable behaviours in adult life. The Real World Learning Network (RWLN) is exploring ways in which real world outdoor science learning can help address these issues. The focus of this work is on supporting and developing the values and competences needed for a more sustainable future.

Values represent our guiding principles; our broadest motivations, influencing the attitudes we hold and how we act. It is therefore imperative that we recognise the importance of values in our work as outdoor educators; that we are very mindful about which values we wish to support and develop through our work and how we ‘frame’ or embody and express them.

Circumples model

Values circumplex model identifying key intrinsic values groups important for outdoor learning (from Common Cause)

Working Group 4 of the RWLN has been using international values research drawn together in the Common Cause Handbook and Common Cause for Natureto underpin its work in developing a green career competency framework.  Results from values workshops at the first RWL conference in the Czech Republic have been used to identify the core values our work should be promoting. We aim to foster ‘intrinsic’ values – among them universalism, benevolence and self-direction; acknowledging the importance of these values to our work and the future of the planet.

 Values workshop

Values spatial analysis (bottom left) used as the basis for a values workshop asking outdoor learning practitioners to reflect on values important to our work (middle). The results from the workshop being used to inform the work of the RWL Network (top right). 






Thursday, September 18, 2014