Towards the re-conceptualization of outdoor education centre experiences for the delivery of integrated environmental education in Ontario
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This study used an interpretive and critical case study methodology to explore the delivery of environmental education (EE) to an elementary school during a residential outdoor education centre (OEC) experience in Haliburton, ON. The Ontario Ministry of Education has chosen to infuse EE into all aspects of the education system. An important aspect of EE is experiential learning in natural settings. Many students attend OECs, which are often situated in natural settings. A mixed methods design used focus group interviews, peripheral membership observation and grounded theory to collect and analyse the data. The study found that while EE is being delivered to some degree, its success is potentially limited at the OEC staff level, teacher level and school system level. These limitations are mostly derived from the OEC staffs' and teachers' limited knowledge of EE, and the lack of integration of EE delivered at the OEC into the school context.
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