Outdoor Education R&E Center


Introductory Outdoor Education Articles

James Neill
Last updated:
26 Oct 2006

Introductory readings which explore the what, whys, wherefores and how tos of outdoor education.

Also see Articles about Group Games, Initiatives and other Experiential Group Activities


Environmental Education & Training Partnership.  Environmental education: Can it be defined?

Ford, P. (1986). Outdoor education: Definition and philosophy. ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools Digest, Las Cruces, NM.

Hillbert, H. H., & Grimm, G. O. (1973).  An operational definition and description of college outdoor programs. Presented at the Association of College Unions, International Conference.   Seminar #27 (a part of the "Move to the Great Outdoors" block). San Francisco, California, March 17-21, 1973.

Itin, C. (n. d.). Definitions of adventure-based practice and related terms.

Kielsmeier, J. (1988). Outdoor Centers and Camps: A 'Natural' Location for Youth Leadership Development. ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools Digest, Las Cruces, NM.

Knight, S., & Anderson, D. (2001). Why outdoor adventure? Generation youth issues.

Lund, M. (1997). Outdoor education: From the roots to the new branches. Grant McEwan College, Canada.

McIntyre, N. (1999). Adventure and the outdoors: Lecture notes. University of Waikato, New Zealand.

Missouri Western State College (n.d.) Experiential learning definitions & models.

Neill, J. T. (1996). The elephant in the black box: A parable about outdoor education.

Parkin, D. (1998). Is outdoor education environmental education? Project Nature-Ed, Brassall, Queensland, Australia.

Rocha, A. (2003). Science lessons in the outdoors. Merced Sun Star, February 8.

Rivkin, M. S. (2000). Outdoor experiences for young children. ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools Digest EDO-RC-00-7, Las Cruces, NM.

Watters. R. (1985). Historical perspectives of outdoor and wilderness recreation programming in the United States. Proceedings of the 1984 Conference on Outdoor Recreation:  A Landmark Conference in the Outdoor Recreation Field, John C. Miles and Ron Watters (eds), Idaho State University Press, Pocatello, pp. 103-114.

Watters. R. (1987). A model theory of outdoor programming approachesHigh-Adventure Outdoor Pursuits:  Organization and Leadership, Joel F. Meier, Talmage W. Morash, George E. Welton (eds.), Publishing Horizons, Columbus, OH,  pp. 213-225. 

Watters, R. (1999). Revisiting the common adventure concept:  An annotated review of the literature, misconceptions and contemporary perspectives. Proceedings of the 13th Annual International Conference on Outdoor Recreation and Education. Boulder, Colorado: Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education, 1999. pp 82-94.