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Social Sciences and Humanities Journal (SSHJ), Volume 2, Aug 2017

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Place-based, experiential, and situated learning experiences are an important component of student teacher professional preparation. This is evident in the value given to school-based practicum teaching experiences.This paper presents an account of our experiences, as teacher educators, involved in teaching outdoor education to Bachelor of Education, Bachelor or Physical Education and Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Secondary) student teachers at the Faculty of Education, University of Auckland. It reports the results of our inquiry into our own rationale, methods, and perceived outcomes of placed-based learning during annual week long bush-based residential camps over a twenty year period. The aim of this paper is to show what we do in outdoor education teacher education and why we think it is important. We have used an ethnographic framework and narrative inquiry to examine the nature and purpose of our outdoor education teacher education work. Our research method involved photographic analysis of a selection of photographs of student teachers in our teacher education course work. We wrote about each photograph using observation of the picture itself, then introspection and recall. We responded to each photo from a personal and professional perspective by reflecting on our professional practice and examining the educative focus underpinning what the photo represented. In this paper a sequence of photos portray the experiential story showing evidence of our practice. Our photographic portrayal is a vivid visual depiction of learning experiences in situ. Our findings show how genuine learning occurs through incidental experiences in the outdoors that are both pre-programmed and/or arising from the situated experience.

Author(s): Maureen Legge, Wayne Smith
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