Research in Outdoor Education




Fieldwork, an experiential and outdoor component of a traditional lecture class, has been effective in improving students' content knowledge and attitudes. However, most studies of these courses use a full lecture course as the comparison group rather than comparing amounts or types of fieldwork. This study compares two classes that incorporate fieldwork (n > = 18 and 12 participants, respectively) and uses both quantitative and qualitative methods to analyze changes in content knowledge, self-efficacy, and perceived value of the subject (entomology). Pre- and post-test scores suggest that information memorization is best taught in a traditional classroom environment. Qualitative data illustrate that the most meaningful parts of the intensive field study course are regular interaction, curriculum flexibility, and a constant connection with nature. Thus, the data suggest that more intensive field study leads to self-actualization, learning from others, ecological awareness, and flexible thinking.