A sense of place

For a number of years we have been using ‘a sense of place’ to enrich student experience in outdoor activities being one of the first to develop this form of teaching and understanding. Over the past decade interest in the significance of a sense of place in the literature of outdoor education has been increasing. In the UK, the relationship between outdoor education and the wider environment tends to be mainly focused on the science of the natural environment and the activity under study. We have concentrated on a combination of formal and informal pedagogy, which can lead to a better understanding of the sociocultural and historical nature of place and as such, enrich the learning experiences of students and practitioners when teaching the traditional outdoor activities.

Our module on a Pedagogy of Place allows a natural fusion of theory and practice, thought and action to become a natural holistic experience which allows formal and informal learning. Outdoor experiences in the mountains, on the water or on bikes, are developed along with a sense of place. This allows learners to naturally understand and discover the relationship between the sociocultural history of where the activity takes place and the activity itself. This fusion of approaches results in enhancing the learning experience and has been used with practitioners and students nationally and internationally.

An online module has been developed as a result of a European grant. For further information contact c.r.davies@uwtsd.ac.uk