he RHP Companion to outdoor education
Edited by Peter Barnes and Bob Sharp

Outdoor education still has a long way to go in terms of its acceptance by educational organisations and the public at large, some of whom even question its very meaning and purpose. This important new book - the first comprehensive text about outdoor education written explicitly for students, academics, and practitioners in the UK - will help clarify aims and encourage the pursuit of good practice…as well as provide a detailed overview for those trainers, commissioners and funders with whom outdoor educators work in partnership.

The RHP Companion to Outdoor Education is "a lucid and helpful assessment of the state of outdoor education today, with an important focus on how differing individuals and groups may learn from outdoor experience… a summary of the differing approaches… a catalyst for further experiment and innovation…" From the Foreword by Roger Putnam MBE, former chair of the Mountain Leader Training Board, the National Association for Outdoor Education and the English Outdoor Council.

Providing information about outdoor education in its many and varied guises, the editors' intention is to change readers' thinking by:
  • introducing ideas and topics they have not encountered before
  • reminding them of methods, principles or issues which may have been forgotten
  • reinforcing principles which are currently used.

  • "We feel that one of the book's particular strengths is the varied manner in which the chapters are presented by an impressive array of authors from diverse backgrounds in outdoor education. Some do have an 'academic' ring where the text is well supported by extensive literature reviews. Others have been written from the perspective of practice and application - in public, voluntary and commercial sectors - and try to pass on the wisdom that can only come from practical experience. The reader will have to take ideas from the book, dwell on their merits, perhaps experiment with them in practice where appropriate and also embark on discussion with colleagues. We expect that whilst readers may disagree with some aspects of what they read, they will also digest others that allow them to move forwards as practitioners or theorists." The Editors


    Foreword Roger Putnam
    Introduction: some thoughts on the nature of outdoor education
    The Context of Outdoor Education
    Debate and cliché: a philosophy for outdoor education Peter Barnes
    Values and ethics in outdoor education Bertie Everard
    Aesthetics and the outdoor experience Angus McWilliam
    Research methods in outdoor education Geoff Nichols
    A model of the process of personal development through the medium of outdoor adventure Geoff Nichols
    The Users of Outdoor Education
    Working with young people Steve Lenartowicz
    Towards a philosophy and understanding of working with special needs students Phil Woodyer & Peter Barnes
    Outdoor management development: issues relating to systematic evaluation Adrian Ibbetson
    Outdoor education and the voluntary sector Janet Shepherd
    Outdoor education and participation from ethnic communities Judy Ling Wong & Peter Barnes
    Overseas youth expeditions: learning and leadership considerations Nina Saunders
    The Practice of Outdoor Education
    Outdoor leadership: art or science? Peter Barnes
    Risk in outdoor education Bob Sharp
    Creative Ways of Working Alan Smith
    Facilitation and reviewing in outdoor education Roger Greenaway
    Teaching and learning strategies Bob Sharp
    Duty of care Nick Halls
    Outdoor education as a vehicle for integrated learning in the school curriculum Patrick Keighley
    Learning theory and experiential education Angus McWilliam
    Current Issues in Outdoor Education
    Rewards from risk: the case for adventure activity Marcus Bailie
    Outdoor education and the sustainable use of the environment Geoff Cooper
    The contribution of outdoor education to environmental awareness and sustainability Geoff Cooper
    Working from the urban environment Archie Waters
    Professionalism, quality and the market place Randall Williams
    Technology in outdoor education Bob Sharp
    Women working in the outdoors: still a man's world? Kate O'Brien, Nina Saunders & Peter Barnes


    "Brings together a range of perspectives that underpin approaches to outdoor education in the UK…a good overall introduction to the rich mix of ideas behind outdoor education… Particularly useful are the wider issues of professionalism that are debated in the chapters "Duty of care", "Professionalism, quality and the marketplace" and "Women working in the outdoors: still a man's world?"… a valuable resource for many youth professionals who may work in partnership with outdoor education providers and who want to develop a greater appreciation of the whys and hows of outdoor education." Young People Now.

    "Aimed at both experienced practitioners and academic students, each chapter is written by someone who has a passion for the topic. A great resource for anyone involved in professional development of themselves or others, and well worth the money. The most comprehensive work of its type I've seen in the OE field. If you dip into a chapter that's not for you, try another: there's a lot to explore and set you thinking." Institute for Outdoor Learning (Horizons).

    "A platform for the many voices which individually and collectively contribute to the ongoing debate about outdoor education…it challenges practitioners to reconsider and redefine their own priorities and perspectives, at the same time demonstrating the rich and multi-faceted nature of this field. Highly recommended." Adoption & Fostering.

    "More than an introduction to outdoor education… has the potential to support the field by bringing up to date a rationale for the work at the same time as providing food for thought that will help practitioners and students alike continue to explore, critique and develop their thinking and practice… aimed at students, lecturers and practitioners and succeeds in providing a broad introduction to the field as well as providing in depth discussion around some of the current issues and themes. It covers the context in which OE operates the diversity of user groups, the trends in practice, and current issues such as risk, sustainability and professionalism. Up-to-date references to widely scattered papers, books and articles will allow readers who want to explore further to find the growing body of writing by UK authors." Leisure Studies Journal.

    "Helps to clarify the aims of outdoor education and to encourage the pursuit of good practice. It introduces new ideas and topics as well as reviewing current methods and principles." EARTHlines.