Research in Outdoor Education




This qualitative study explored the life significance of a winter, bilingual (French/English), outdoor education (OE) course offered by a Canadian university. The current investigation involved 16 in-depth interviews with alumni who had taken one of the university's winter OE courses more than 20 years earlier. Interpretive analysis of interview data found the following significant life impacts: development of interpersonal/social skills; self-discovery; environmental awareness; leisure style change; transfer to others; and increased outdoor knowledge/skills. The researcher used “how and why” questions to probe for processes that linked the course experiences and activities with significant life impacts. The processes identified included: personal growth opportunities; group experience; new or different experience; and toughness of climate/weather.