Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Swan, Malcolm W.

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Curriculum and Instruction


Outdoor education--Planning; College students; Recreation leadership


The purpose of this study was to investigate which factors are considered useful in preparing and conducting outdoor/environmental education programs for special populations. Two problems were studied: 1. What program factors and components are used and perceived effective by experienced leaders when implementing an outdoor/environmental education experience for special populations? 2. Is there a consensus among experienced leaders and college students on what factors are considered effective in outdoor/environmental education programs for special populations? The sample consisted of two groups: (1) college students at the College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, Illinois; and (2) leaders conducting outdoor/environmental education programs at Sunrise Lake Camp, Bartlett, Illinois. A survey instrument was developed and used by the researcher to collect information on factors and techniques that are considered effective in outdoor programming. A total of twenty-seven College of DuPage students registered in outdoor education classes completed the questionnaire in 1982, and forty-two experienced leaders involved in Sunrise Lake Camp completed the survey between April and June, 1982. Percentage, mean, and chi-square statistics were calculated with the tabulated data. A program factor element or component was selected as effective if it received an average rating of 4*00 or greater on a 5*0 Likert scale, or was reported as being used by 7Q% or more of the respondents. Twenty-one program factor components were identified as significant by the experienced leaders, on the basis of percentage and mean ratings. Based on percentage ratings, six out of ten program factor elements were accepted by both survey groups. There was agreement between leaders and students on 78% of the program factor components, and 90% on the program factor elements (chi-square analysis at .05 level of confidence). This analysis provided support for both hypotheses. This study resulted in a set of thirty practical guidelines for providing specialized outdoor experiences. These guidelines are believed by the researcher to be appropriate for use as a planning resource for implementing more effective outdoor/environmental education experiences for special populations.


Bibliography: pages 131-134.


ix, 134 pages




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