An Introduction to the Constraints-Led Approach to Learning in Outdoor Education (Report)
Australian Journal of Outdoor Education 2010, July, 14, 2
Australian Journal of Outdoor Education
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In outdoor education, technical or hard skills are often fundamental to the educational process, because leaders of outdoor experiences are frequently required to facilitate the development of motor skills (Paisley, Furman, Sibthorp, & Gookin, 2008; Priest & Gass, 2005). Physical activities such as canoeing and kayaking, skiing, orienteering and climbing require the development of specific perceptual-motor skills for effective performance (Brymer, 2010; Brymer, Hughes, & Collins, 2000; Fyffe & Peter, 1990). Even carrying the humble backpack changes walking gait and requires new skill patterns (Orloff & Rapp, 2004). At a practical level understanding how learners acquire functional movement patterns is essential for: (i) selecting ergonomically designed equipment for each learner; (ii) organising and structuring learning environments and tasks; (iii) planning and management of exercise and practice programmes; (iv) prevention of injury and associated health and safety considerations; and (v), understanding the nature of individual differences at various levels of performance (Renshaw, Davids, Chow, & Hammond, 2010). However, as Paisley et al. (2008) recognised there seems to be a scarcity of research that explores the process of acquiring motor skills in the outdoor education literature. Those studies that have outlined perspectives on pedagogy in outdoor education seem to focus on the teaching of skills as differentiated from how skills are learnt (Paisley et al., 2008). Whilst the information presented from the teaching perspective should not be taken lightly, there seems to be a dearth of research undertaken from the learners perspective: "Our field is rich with curricula to teach students, yet there is a lack of understanding about how students actually learn the material" (Paisley et al., 2008, p. 212). As Thomas (2007) recognised, a skill acquisition focus is fundamental to good skill instruction in outdoor education and as such, potentially valuable for the development of effective outdoor leaders. The aim of this paper is to introduce a particular learner-centred approach to skill acquisition termed the constraints-led approach. A growing body of evidence-based literature from other fields such as motor development, motor control and motor learning supports the notion that the constraints-led approach could provide a principled approach to skill acquisition (e.g., Davids et al., 2007; Chow et al., 2009; Renshaw et al., 2010). In this paper, we argue that the constraints-led model might also be appropriate for understanding and exploring motor learning in outdoor education.
- 2,99 €
- Category: Education
- Published: 01 July 2010
- Publisher: Outdoor Council of Australia
- Print Length: 26 Pages
- Language: English