Post Neo-Hahnism: A paradigmatic line in the sand.

Mr David Hayward1, Dr Heidi Smith2, Dr David Moltow3
1St Patrick’s College, Launceston, Australia; 2University of Edunburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom; 3University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia


In Outdoor Education, as Hahnism gave rise to Neo-Hahnism, Neo-Hahnism has in turn given birth to Post Neo-Hahnism: a term that has emerged as a result of recent research into the student experience of outdoor learning. Through the critiques of Neo-Hahnism, Post Neo-Hahnism is seeing a move in practitioners from an anthropocentric view to an ecocentric viewpoint of teaching Outdoor Education. This presentation asks you to envisage a metaphorical line in the sand between the Outdoor Education practices that resulted in a mountain of critiques and the changes in practice that resulted. To do this, the presentation looks at Hahanian derived Outdoor Education in terms of the re-envisioning process that has occurred in Outdoor Education practice and literature over the past two decades by examining the history and trends in the Outdoor Education critique. It will then present the driving literature behind the paradigm shift from Neo-Hahnism to Post Neo-Hahnism. The presentation will conclude with a pragmatic argument, engaging how this metaphorical line in the sand helps the in-field practitioner reflect on their practice as we move forward through 21st Century.

David Hayward teachers Outdoor Education at St Patricks College, Launceston. He graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Education (Hons) (Outdoor Education and Design and Technology). He has an interest in increasing his understanding of human nature relationships and how to teach this through researching his own and his student experiences.

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.

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