Outdoor learning has historically been considered within the realm of informal education settings. For example, outdoor learning occurs during summer camps based in outdoor settings, on field trips to state parks and nature preserves, or through destination event–based activities such as natural history interpretation through backpacking, rafting, and bike touring, to name a few. More recently, outdoor learning has been considered as an approach to engaging students in formal education settings as an alternative approach to traditional classroom instruction. Outdoor learning draws on a variety of theoretical foundations including place-based education, expeditionary learning, and experiential learning.

Outdoor learning can be defined as learning in an outdoor context based on experiences and interactions with physical and cultural phenomena. Outdoor learning is relevant in that it is a ...

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