Describing what a University outdoor education graduate knows and can do using the 7 threshold concepts – what does the profession think?

Mr Scott Polley1, Mrs Sandy Allen-Craig2, Dr Marcus Morse3, Dr Glyn Thomas4, Professor Tonia Gray5, Mr Anthony Mangelsdorf3
1University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia; 2Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia; 3LaTrobe University, Bendigo, Australia; 4University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, Australia; 5Western Sydney University, Western Sydney, Australia


Following an initial scoping paper (Polley and Thomas, 2017) a small team from the Australian Tertiary Outdoor Education network conducted a Delphi Study with other ATOEN representatives to establish seven threshold concepts that articulated what an Australian University Outdoor Education graduate knows and is able to do (Thomas, Grenon, Morse, Allen-Craig, Mangelsdorf, & Polley, 2019). The next logical step in the process of development of these concepts is to speak to stakeholders including those who work with and employ graduates in the outdoor education profession. This presentation describes the outcomes of a consultation process conducted across Australia that asked stakeholders questions about the suitability of the 7 threshold concepts. The project sought to establish if the efficacy of the threshold concepts for participants in the study and how they might best be communicated to the outdoor education profession. The presentation includes a forum to provide further input into these 7 thresholds with the aim of finalizing these as minimum concepts that are achieved by university graduates that have completed a minimum of 6 courses/subjects (or ¾ of a year of study within a Bachelor program).

Scott Polley is Senior Lecturer in Outdoor Education at University of South Australia, ATOEN Deputy Chair, OEA representative for OEASA.

Sandy Allen-Craig is a Senior Lecturer in Outdoor Leadership at the Australian Catholic University. She has developed and implemented courses of Outdoor Education at the national tertiary level for over 30 years. She is currently the Deputy Chair of Outdoors Victoria, an Executive Member of Outdoor Education Australia and an Associate Editor of Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education.

Marcus Morse is Director, Outdoor Environmental Education in the School of Education at La Trobe University. His current research interests are in the areas of outdoor environmental education, dialogue in education, wild pedagogies and forms of paying attention within outdoor environments.

Dr Glyn Thomas teaches in the Bachelor of Recreation and Outdoor Environmental Studies program at the University of the Sunshine Coast. His research interests focus on teaching and learning in outdoor environmental education. He enjoys seeing and learning more about birds especially when climbing, paddling and walking.

Professor Tonia Gray is Senior Researcher for the Centre for Educational Research, School of Education Western Sydney University. She is the Chair of the Australian Tertiary Outdoor Education Network, Co-editor in Chief of the Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education and 2019 Distinguished Researcher of the Year.

Anthony Mangelsdorf is Associate Lecturer at LaTrobe University in Outdoor Environmental Education in the School of Education specialising in Alpine and Environmental Education.
Dr Duncan Picknoll is Senior Lecturer and Coordinator of the Bachelor of Outdoor Recreation at University of Notre Dame.

About OEA and Outdoors NSW

Outdoor Education Australia (OEA)  was established in 2006 as a national network of outdoor education associations. The organisation facilitates communication between state and territory outdoor education associations about the practice and delivery of outdoor education; advocates for outdoor education across primary, secondary and tertiary education; and provides policy advice.

Outdoors NSW is the go-to place for all things outdoors in NSW.

The peak body for the outdoors in NSW, the organisation, (formerly known as ORIC), represents the outdoor community, advances outdoor standards, safety and practices, and fosters greater participation in the outdoors.

    Conference Managers

    Please contact the team at Conference Design with any questions regarding the conference.
    © 2020 Conference Design Pty Ltd