Entangled in Spanish mountains, learning from unplanned emergent experiences

Dykes, Nigel ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9159-6692 (2022) Entangled in Spanish mountains, learning from unplanned emergent experiences. In: 9th International Outdoor Education Research Conference (IOERC9), 18-22 July 2022, Ambleside, UK. (Unpublished)

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Unplanned and emergent approaches to learning can be very effective for student learning (Dalke et al, 2007). As an outdoor educator it felt a real risk, standing, waiting for a Spanish farmer with twenty students on a high cold misty mountain coll. Seven unstructured hours passed wandering in the mountains of the Picos de Europa, understanding only a few words in Spanish. With so little said, what had the students learnt from searching for seven hundred sheep and four guard dogs? This research took an ethnographic and autoethnographic approach using interviews from different cohorts of students several years after their experience. It shares their vivid, sensual and eloquent recollections and reflections. They volunteered what they had learnt, sharing these with authentic feelings and emotions, still perspicuous: my very best lectures never come close to this depth and impact. The students articulated entanglements: policy, practice, environment, culture and politics. Tied up in these knots were justice, equity and rights, not just human ones : they were still trying to unravel these complexities (Lynch & Mannion, 2021). Their learning had not been ephemeral or static, time had moved on, their perspectives shifted and new voices were present (Caniglia, 2018). These findings are important to evidence learning as a journey and to justify an emergent, experiential and place responsive pedagogical approach to outdoor learning. Less was more, it opened up many “lines of flight” and it challenged the effectiveness of a packed deliberate curriculum.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Departments: Institute of Science and Environment > Outdoor Studies
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2022 09:42
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 13:45
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/6609


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