The Impact of Participation in an Outdoor Education Program on Physical Education Teacher Education Student Self-Efficacy to Teach Outdoor Education

Abstract

Purpose: Self-efficacy, having been identified as a factor influencing teacher effectiveness (Dellinger, Bobbett, Olivier, & Ellett, 2008), combined with the increased prevalence of outdoor education (OE) content being taught within physical education contexts, warrants the need for Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) programs to address OE outcomes. Therefore, the purpose of the prior study was to determine if participation in an OE program increased self-efficacy to teach OE among PETE students, and the current study is longitudinal. Methods: Voluntary response sampling was used to acquire qualitative and quantitative data from the participant group, which consisted of 55 PETE students who had participated in a two-week OE course during the original study, and who again were evaluated using "The Survey of Self-Efficacy for Teaching Outdoor Education". Results: Results indicated a significant increase in self-efficacy scores from pre- to post-test in all content areas (OE skills, Group Dynamic skills, Models and Theories) in the first study, and qualitative data in the longitudinal study indicates similar results. Conclusion: Participation in the program positively affected PETE students’ self-efficacy for teaching OE, which may improve their ability to ultimately teach this content in physical education settings.