ACES : connecting youth to the environment through outdoor education
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SubjectOutdoor education; Nature--Psychological aspects; Environmental education; Yukon; Interviews (Research methodology)
ACES is an integrated curriculum program that has been a part of the Yukon public education system since 1989. This study explores the impacts of this place-based outdoor education program on the participants‟ relationships with the environment. Interview and observation data were collected from 15 participants during a 13 day canoe trip on the Yukon River, which was the culmination of their semester long course. There were nine significant themes that emerged from the data that provide insight into the successes of the program and the impact it has on the students. The findings support the importance of outdoor education as a means for connecting young people with nature and as a catalyst for change and growth. They demonstrate the central role the teacher has in the success of the program and how the Yukon-centric focus promotes a connection with the local landscape resulting in concern for local environmental issues.
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