Outdoor Education in China
Why outdoor education?
Young people growing up in this part of the world have a high pressure school system. Virtually all the emphasis both at home and in school is on classroom learning. Although the classroom is and always will be the backbone of school education, to build well rounded members of society it's critical to engage students with real world experiences. As we discovered above, outdoor education is an all encompassing term covering many types of adventure and outdoor provision. But maybe even more important are the tools used in its delivery.
Many people are familiar with the term experiential education, and environmental education. Experiential education as defined by the Association for Experiential Education is:
“a philosophy that informs many methodologies in which educators purposefully engage with learners in direct experience and focused reflection in order to increase knowledge, develop skills, clarify values, and develop people's capacity to contribute to their communities.” www.aee.org
The best environments for experiential learning often involve escaping the walls of the classroom and using the wilderness to provide some of the most memorable and stimulating learning opportunities for students.
Environmental Education (as its name implies) aims to educate people about our natural environments. This again ties in perfectly with outdoor education; where learning about the environment is the goal and conducting structured learning in the outdoors (outdoor education) provide the necessary catalyst tying facts to real world experiences. But why stop there? Let's tie the outdoors, education and experiential education together. At Zen Quest Adventures we like to refer to this as holistic outdoor education or 'holistic education', a truly multifarious approach. We strive to get students involved in programs before they arrive by putting them in touch directly with local people to arrange their service projects. We also do our best to follow up on their learning when they return to school.
Our holistic education philosophy