The conducted study examined the efficacy of an outdoor adventure education program for increasing the academic achievement of a sample of tenth grade students at risk for academic failure. The rationale for the study was based on the fact that current outdoor education research contains virtually no studies examining for relationship between these programs and academic achievement increase of at-risk students.
Subjects in the study were 24 tenth-grade students attending an alternative school for at-risk students. All students had been sent to the alternative school by school officials due to a variety of problematic behaviors such as excessive absence and tardiness, and disruptive campus behavior.
Students were randomly selected and randomly assigned to one of two groups: (1) the experimental group receiving outdoor adventure education; and (2) the control group that was not exposed to an outdoor adventure education program.
Academic achievement was operationalized in terms of GPAs and students' scores on the standardized Wide Range Achievement Test. The research approach involved the use of a two-group, pretest-posttest design.
Findings of the study supported the notion that exposure to an outdoor education program increased the academic achievement levels of at-risk students. Results were discussed in terms of the existing literature; it was noted that whether findings generalize to non-at-risk groups could not be known on the basis of this study.
EFFECT OF OUTDOOR ADVENTURE EDUCATION ON THE ACADEMIC
ACHIEVEMENT OF TEEN AGE STUDENTS AT RISK
Priest (1986) has defined outdoor adventure education as an experimental method of learning that takes place primarily in the outdoors, and requires the use of all senses and domains. Moreover, Priest states that outdoor adventure education is based on an interdisciplinary curriculum, and not only teaches curricular material but also the value of collaborative...