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Four issues that negate the purpose and benefits of program accreditation
At first glance, it appears that accreditation may be a no-brainer. Literature within the adventure programming industry suggests that the majority of outdoor professionals support the accreditation process (Bassin et al., 1992; Cockrell and Detzel, 1985; Gass, 1999).
Between 1993 and 1998, my climbing friends and I would spend the month of January bouldering and camping at Hueco Tanks State Park near El Paso, Texas. The warm sun, brilliant problems, supportive climbing culture, and stark desert beauty brought us back.
Supervision reduces risk in outdoor education activity
For the past 40 years, prominent international organizations such as Outward Bound (OB), the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), and countless adaptations of them have used these unaccompanied activities.
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Controversial Issues in Adventure Programming offers an engaging approach to the consideration of enduring, current, and emerging issues in the field. Written primarily for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students, the text presents 20 issues in a debate format, challenging students to participate in critical discourse concerning these issues as practitioners in the field of adventure programming.
Respected authors Bruce Martin and Mark Wagstaff have assembled a team of more than 50 contributors from around the globe to reassess some of the underlying assumptions on which adventure programming is based. They have critically examined implications of new developments for emerging practice and discussed how best to position the field of adventure programming in addressing broader societal concerns.
To set the stage for the debate, each issue is prefaced with a general overview, including the evolution of the issue and its significance in light of broader social concerns. Then, contributors present the pros and cons of each issue. A debate format helps students develop an understanding of the key points around each issue while also becoming familiar with current research pertinent to these issues. This approach also encourages students to grapple with these issues and begin to develop their own informed, thoughtful perspectives as they prepare for careers in adventure programming.
Controversial Issues in Adventure Programming is divided into two parts. Part I begins by discussing issues of ongoing concern in the field, including the certification debate, motorized versus nonmotorized forms of outdoor recreation, and program accreditation. In part II, contemporary and emerging issues are presented, such as the use of online educational programming in the field of adventure programming.
As a reference for practitioners and policy makers, Controversial Issues in Adventure Programming offers new and updated perspectives on enduring and emerging issues as well as a synthesis of the most recent related scholarly literature. In addition, the text serves as a resource in understanding how the adventure programming industry can contribute to addressing issues of broad concern in society, such as public health, global climate change, stewardship of public lands and waterways, and education reform.
Controversial Issues in Adventure Programming encourages readers to participate in some of the central debates occurring in the field. In particular, this timely resource will help students broaden their understanding of the field as they critically examine and respond to a range of enduring, contemporary, and emerging topics in adventure programming.
Part I. Enduring Issues in Adventure Programming Issue 1. Do the benefits of adventure programming outweigh the risks? Issue 2. Should principles of challenge-by-choice be integral to all adventure program experiences? Issue 3. Does the concept of transfer of learning sufficiently explain the way outcomes of adventure programming are generalized to other areas of participants’ lives? Issue 4. Should there be a professional certification in outdoor leadership? Issue 5. Should programs be accredited to ensure that they adhere to industry standards? Issue 6. Should motorized outdoor adventure pursuits be included in adventure programming? Issue 7. Should individuals with disabilities be fully accommodated in adventure programming? Issue 8. Should people of color be encouraged to participate in current outdoor adventure programs? Issue 9. Can adventure programming make a meaningful difference in promoting health and wellness in society? Issue 10. Does technology compromise the wilderness experience?
Part II.Contemporary and Emerging Issues Issue 11. Should extreme sports, such as BASE jumping and other high-risk sports, be included in adventure programming? Issue 12. Should nonprofit and educational programs be required to obtain permits to use public land? Issue 13. Should Wilderness First Responder be the standard of care for wilderness leadership? Issue 14. Should wilderness program staff always accompany their participants? Issue 15. Should transgender youths be encouraged to favor specialized camps over mainstream camps? Issue 16. Does Leave No Trace make a difference beyond the scope of back country environmental practices? Issue 17. Are educational reform policies that stress standards and accountability compatible with pedagogical aims and practice in outdoor education? Issue 18. Are rational decision-making models the most effective method to train novice outdoor leaders? Issue 19. Is it possible to effectively accomplish the goals of outdoor education through online programming? Issue 20. Is outcomes-based research currently more important than critical research for the field of adventure programming?
About the Editors
Primary or supplemental text for upper-level undergraduate and graduate-level classes in adventure programming, outdoor or adventure programming, and experiential education. Reference for outdoor adventure scholars, leaders, programmers, and administrators.
Bruce Martin, PhD, is an associate professor in the department of recreation and sport pedagogy at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Before joining the faculty at Ohio University, he taught at the University of Northern Colorado and Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka, Alaska.
Martin’s teaching and research interests are focused on the practice of outdoor leadership and adventure programming. At Ohio University, Martin teaches courses that help students develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required for effective professional practice in the fields of outdoor leadership and adventure programming. He is an author of the text Outdoor Leadership: Theory and Practice (Human Kinetics, 2006) and has authored numerous publications related to the practice of outdoor leadership and adventure programming.
Martin has more than 20 years of experience as an outdoor and adventure programming professional. He has worked as a camp counselor, professional river guide, and Outward Bound instructor. He is a member of the Association for Experiential Education (AEE), the Wilderness Education Association (WEA), the American Canoe Association (ACA), and Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics (LNT). He currently holds ACA certifications as a level 4 river kayak instructor trainer and level 4 coastal kayak instructor. He is a certifying instructor for the WEA and a LNT master educator instructor.
Martin earned his PhD in social foundations of education from the University of Virginia. He earned two master’s degrees, one in experiential education from Minnesota State University at Mankato and another in human dimensions of natural resources from Colorado State University at Fort Collins. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Virginia Commonwealth University.
In his free time, Martin enjoys helping his daughters develop an appreciation for the wild outdoors. He also enjoys recreational boating and reading. Martin resides in Athens, Ohio.
Mark Wagstaff, EdD, is a professor in the department of recreation, parks, and tourism at Radford University in Radford, Virginia, where he coordinates the outdoor recreation concentration. He is a coauthor of Outdoor Leadership: Theory and Practice (Human Kinetics, 2006); Backcountry Classroom: Lessons, Tools and Activities for Teaching Outdoor Leaders (Globe Pequot Press, 2005); and Technical Skills for Adventure Programming (Human Kinetics, 2009).In addition to teaching adventure programming at the college level since 1997, Wagstaff has experience as a professional river guide, North Carolina Outward Bound School field instructor, and Wilderness Education Association instructor. He is a member of the Association for Experiential Education, Wilderness Education Association, American Canoe Association, and Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. He is also a certifying instructor for the WEA and a LNT master educator instructor.
Wagstaff received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in recreation from North Carolina State University. He earned his doctorate in education from Oklahoma State University, where he also coordinated the campus outdoor recreation program.
Wagstaff resides in Christiansburg, Virginia. He enjoys whitewater canoeing, fly fishing, and upland bird hunting.