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Research article2015Peer reviewed

Teachers' Intentions for Outdoor Learning: A Characterisation of Teachers' Objectives and Actions

Ottander, Christina; Wilhelmsson, Birgitta; Lidestav, Gun


Building on authors‟ previous study of teachers‟ intentions and educational objectives for outdoor learning, this paper examine the alignment between teachers‟ predefined objectives and the kinds of knowledge and cognitive processes reflected in the outdoor activities. The Halldén‟s theory of intentional analysis and Bloom‟s revised taxonomy were combined when analysing observations of performed outdoor activities and subsequent semi-structured interviews with nine teachers. Four teaching orientations were reveled: one that values affective and social objectives and promotes activities to understand factual knowledge, another orientation focuses on activities intended to gain procedural knowledge and emphasizes application of practical tasks. The other two teaching orientations primarily focus on cognitive objectives, partly to reinforce conceptual knowledge, partly to deepen understanding or improve strategies to enhance meta-cognitive knowledge. The degree of alignment between intended objectives and performed activity is higher among teachers promoting affective and social goals as well as meta-cognitive and analytical understanding, than teachers who use outdoor activities to mainly reinforce conceptual knowledge. The study shows that there is a range of possible learning goals in outdoor education and that teachers are guided by what they value and how they perceive learning.

Published in

International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research
2015, Volume: 13, number: 2, pages: 208-230