General competences of school curriculum in adventure module for school youth worker
Eit, Piret (2012)
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The present study seeks to determine whether and how it is possible to integrate non-formal learning method of adventure education techniques with the national basic school curriculum general competences. A one week adventure education course named as “Experience Integrated Teaching" (“EIT”) module which seeks a better output for school youth workers and creative activity teachers’ curriculum in University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy was under investigation. In this inquiry the action research process principles were observed. First the problem was clarified and action was planned. Intervention of EIT module was used during the adventure education action. Students were active participants and their opinions had an important influence to research process. The problem is that the students do not know the possibilities of experiential learning and how to integrate adventure education and general competences of the basic school curriculum. Neither does the adventure based experiential education (AbEE) program support the students achieving their learning outcomes. The question under scrutiny was: How and which adventure based experiential education (AbEE) activities could in students’ opinion help to achieve general competences of basic school curriculum? An action plan was designed including a variety of proposals and ideas of experiential education theory. Activities were carried out in Soomaa National Park, participants were 36 University students studying youth work. After the activities data was collected from the group interviews, written free form feedbacks and the questionaries. Opinion and other information was collected through observation and video. Before outdoor activities the most common opinion of the students was that the adventure education is mostly outdoor activities in order to overcome fears and to take challenge. After the course their opinion had changed into much more pedagogical approach and their learning outcomes were consistent with the school general competences. Ideas that support the general competences of the National curriculum of basic schools (2011) were mentioned most often in the reflection-questionnaries of the students. All the general competences were more or less used and touched in student opinion during the adventure activities. Exercises frequently involved self-management competence, value competence, social competence, communication competence and entrepreneurship competence, but learning to learn competence was not mentioned so often. Mathematics competence was also mentioned, but under the meaning of logical thinking. Learning took place during activities and debriefings and even in free time of relaxing. Actions and activities from module EIT were successful and contributed to the achievement of learning outcomes. AbEE cycle worked and was justified, because during discussions and debriefing participants reflected back the same goals and aims which had been planned for the activities.