Integrating adventure into the curriculum : an appreciative inquiry approach
Sciammas, Jacob I.
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The use of adventurous and challenging experiences is growing in today's school curriculum along with the popularity of outdoor education, recreation and leisure in society at large. The specific experiences in school curriculum most often relate to four fields which share common roots in progressive education: environmental education, outdoor education, experiential education and adventure education. It is useful today to describe these fields under one umbrella as "adventure education" since the practices and goals of each converge in schools. Adventure education today, however popular and justified as beneficial to students, fails to commonly appear in standards or integrated curriculum in schools. The process of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is appropriate to achieve integrated adventure education in schools through a critical, action-research approach and to create success stories to the benefit of others. AI is an effective organizational change model for schools that can also counter-act the limiting, problem-centered nature of today's education system and provide a structure to promote new opportunities for powerful school change. Through the use of the 4-D Cycle and an Appreciative Summit, AI is a timely approach for integrating adventure into physical education and positivel transforming our schools beyond our current scope of understanding.