Thesis

Outdoor education : adjunctive education alternatives for handicapped students

The purpose of this project was to stimulate awareness and insight to the need of outdoor education as an adjunct to the standard special education curriculums in American society. The content of this study views the education process relative to therapy and behavior, advocating a learning-by-doing experience for handicapped children in outdoor settings, and a new team teaching relationship in education. Several conclusions are made as a result of this project. There exists a relationship between self-development and learning capacity for handicapped students. There exists a need to link outdoor education with the handicapped, as a therapeutic agent toward better learning and personal growth. It is recommended that American education maximize its resources in establishing standards and objectives designed to promote optimal learning specifically for handicapped children in outdoor education settings. Further, the value of outdoor education, as a supplement to standard school curriculum, lies in the provision of firsthand experiences to reinforce classroom study. A curriculum modified for handicapped students in outdoor education does not exist in the western part of the United States. Therefore, there is a need for teachers of handicapped students to receive training and orientation of outdoor education principles and practices. There exists a need to demonstrate the methodology and approach of outdoor education, as an effective adjunct to existing school curriculums in the learning process of handicapped students. And, finally, outdoor education provides the least restrictive environment for learning to take place.

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