Consider your trace: the shift from education ‘in’ to education ‘for’ the environment

Loynes, Christopher ORCID logoORCID: (2018) Consider your trace: the shift from education ‘in’ to education ‘for’ the environment. In: Becker, Peter, Humberstone, Barbara, Loynes, Christopher and Schirp, Jochem, (eds.) The changing world of outdoor learning in Europe. Routledge Research in Education . Routledge, London, UK, pp. 71-84.

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‘Leave only footprints, take only photos, kill only time’ is a slogan of the Leave No Trace movement that emerged in the USA in the 1960s (Leave No Trace, nd). The movement and the slogan are currently experiencing a surge of interest in the UK and elsewhere in Europe amongst outdoor education organisations. In the age of the Anthropocenei the notion that humans ‘leave no trace’ anywhere on the planet is, of course, absurd. At the same time, it is becoming equally clear that humans should ‘leave a considerably smaller trace’ if we are to enjoy a sustainable future on Earth along with the other non-human inhabitants (Alagona & Simon, 2012). This chapter begins with the twin discourses of adventure and environmental education, collectively known as outdoor education, and how they reflect the wider social trends of the twentieth century. Trends in UK environmental education over the last twenty years are then considered to see whether they reflect the recent awareness of human environmental impact and growing demands for a sustainable future, perhaps a move towards ‘consider our trace’. In the latter part of the nineteenth century, whilst the Wandervogel youth movement in Germany was setting out to explore other cultures and the friluftsliv movement in Norway was discovering its own landscape as an important and emerging aspect of culture, British outdoor education was developing both an inward and an outward gaze. The focus of some activities, programmes and movements are clearly directed inward at the personal development or character building of the participant. Others with an outward gaze emphasise learning about landscapes and communities. In the UK these two strands of outdoor practice began at roughly the same time. For example the Boy Scouts movement (1908) and the Girl Guide movement (1910) focussed on personal development. Meanwhile the Woodcraft Folk (1925), inspired by romantisised ideas of native Americans, focussed on community and environmental relations. Both movements emphasised the desire to internalise a sense of duty amongst the emerging middle class at a time of considerable social change (Loynes, 2007).

Item Type: Book Section
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781138047662
Departments: Academic Departments > Science, Natural Resources & Outdoor Studies (SNROS) > Forestry and Conservation
Depositing User: Christopher Loynes
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2018 11:41
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2021 09:33


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