/ dissertation help on effects of OAA on behaviour

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bigrob - on 27 Aug 2014
Hi I am doing teacher traing at the moment and am thinking of doig my dissertation on how outdoor and adventurous activities can be used to improve behaviour in pupils
If anyone has any comments, thoughts, done anything similar, can recommend some decent research etc it would be great to hears from you
Cheer. rob
Rampikino - on 27 Aug 2014
In reply to bigrob:

Not sure how I can help, however this has to be the first time someone has come on here with a hypothesis that actually makes sense for a dissertation! I hope you are able to pull something together that helps.
bigrob - on 27 Aug 2014
In reply to bigrob:

any help appreciated!!!
climbwhenready - on 27 Aug 2014
In reply to bigrob:

Some indoor wall instructors work with naughty kids (there's probably a politically correct term for them) in exactly the way you describe - you may want to contact them. They in turn might be able to put you in contact with schools who use them.
Sebastian Fontleroy - on 27 Aug 2014
In reply to bigrob:

Hi, I used to take autistic kids and adults to an indoor climbing wall. Climbing had a noticable effect in a number of areas. Climbing ticks a number of necessary boxes to make an activity make sense and autism specific - colour-coded routes , clear start and finishes, sensory (tactile, proprieception), clear and simple comunication used. Also all the usual effects on trust, confidence and self efficacy. Swimming and country walks were other activities that most used to enjoy,

I'm presently working with young adults and have just got back off an adventure activity week in Llanberis. We did coasteering, kayaking, mountain biking and got Snowdon in. This has had a noticable effect on the mental health of one particular young person where his medication was failing him.

The effect of outdoor activity on behaviour is very noticeable.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 27 Aug 2014
In reply to bigrob:

sounds like the sort of thing there's bound to be lots of research on already

have you done a literature review?

two minutes on google scholar got these:



not specifically about adventurous activity by the looks of it, but somewhere to start, and a specialist search engine will likely give more precise results,

alan moore - on 27 Aug 2014
In reply to bigrob:
Taking the bad boys into the outdoors is trendy but it's very difficult to prove beneficial effects. Boxall Profiling has been used for a while now but even that just measures the benefits of small group activities (usually always positive), rather than outdoor activities specifically.
Cost and litigation are the biggest barriers to outdoor learning for schools. Climbing takes a lot of staffing and expertise so is pretty likely to finish up as just a visit to a climbing wall.
In my experience, Behaviour support is beginning to develop along the lines of nurture groups rather than seeing the outdoors as the answer to everything....
sea_lene - on 27 Aug 2014
In reply to bigrob:

Princes trust do this work

Young offenders go to centres - google search should bring up something useful.
oldcheese - on 28 Aug 2014
In reply to bigrob:
I have worked in schools and outdoor centre for a few years now and have always been involved in taking pupils climbing and biking. I believe that these activities can have a beneficial affect on behaviour. No firm data but anecdotally if you take a young person out of they're comfort zone they can respond better to adults as they are worried/ want to do the best they can so they do not lose face ( I am generally talking about the more behaviourally challenged pupils here). Of course this still relies on the relationships built between the instructor/teacher and the pupil, there has to be trust and a mutual respect often goes down well.

Some schools I have worked in have used these types of activities as carrots for the pupils to earn throughout the week, having a trip out on the Friday.
In reply to bigrob:

I use to take kids from the "residential school for disturbed adolescents" I used to work at, out climbing and camping. It had sod all effect on their behaviour, except when they were high off the ground, and I was holding the other end of the rope.

Isn’t this one of those “nice ideas” that has never really been shown to work?
iccle_bully - on 28 Aug 2014
In reply to bigrob:

First you need to refine/identify what you mean by young people with challenging behaviour. Risk factors and behaviour management techniques for young people who have autism are very different from those used with young people who have committed offences for example.

Secondly, I would be very sceptical of any study/organisation/person that categorically states that they can prove their intervention had a life changing impact on a young person. For example, any organisation which claims to reduce reoffending rates I would ask 'how do you know?'. Young people have many different services and influences on their lives from youth offending teams and social services to family friends, even television. you can not scientifically prove that you are the one thing that has stopped them reoffending.

So, look at risk factors for behaviour management and theories of change. in offending behaviour look up disistance theory, for autism speak to specialists about communication styles etc. It is possible to prove that interventions have increased someone's self efficacy (through observation and testimonial evidence) or educational attainment (if they gain new skills or even a qualification) which can contribute to improved outcomes for young people.

This approach also gets round post intervention tracking which has confidentiality, safeguarding and logistical/paperwork issues.

OK, I think that's enough waffle! I hope some of it makes sense! Which uni are you at? I'm not trying to put you off the work (think it can be brilliant) or the study, just trying to stop you falling into a hole that I've seen many others end up in.
olliebenzie - on 29 Aug 2014
In reply to bigrob:

Sounds like a good choice of study.
I work in a BESD school and my role is based around providing all kids with oaa. I also run a forest school programme for the younger years in school based around risk taking and promotes experiential learning through risk.
We try to measure the impact of these through assessing the kids behaviour reports etc and class reports before, during, after and then at varying times post the experience.
If you want to measure it behaviour reports could be a good start, as someone has said above all schools are concerned with cost and if you were able to offer a set package to a school on the cheap, then use them for results you'd probably get it.
Lots of schools will measure behaviour and some even have programmes that's measure self esteem as well, if they don't have this you can just make up questions they can answer about their perception of them self.
Hope this is of some help, good luck,
oggi on 29 Aug 2014
In reply to bigrob:

There is a lot of information out there on this already and if you Google for the Paul Hamlyn Foundation they have recently produced a report on this for the English Outdoor Council.
pebbles - on 29 Aug 2014
In reply to bigrob:

talk to manchester city college, they run (or used to when I worked for them 12 years ago) courses for kids with learning difficulties which included a weekly outdoor education day, it was quite amazing to see how the kids developed self confidence and learnt to work together and behave responsably (mostly ;-D) on this. A guy called simon used to run the course, even if they no longer run the course they could probably refer you to simon
Urgles on 29 Aug 2014
In reply to bigrob:

Modern life has made us so disconnected from our natural energy and this comes out as frustration.
Climbing/outdoor activities go some way to reconnect us.
There you go, dissertation done. ;)
Richard Baynes - on 29 Aug 2014
In reply to bigrob:

Any outdoor education centre run by an LEA or as a social enterprise would welcome a study which aimed to define the obvious but often intangible/unmeasured benefits of outdoor ed. I could suggest one that I have worked with here in Scotland, but any would do. Speak to the centre, review activities, speak to kids, speak to schools, questionnairs etc - it could be of value in helping an important but under-pressure arm of education to survive.
andrewmcleod - on 29 Aug 2014
In reply to Richard Baynes:

Sounds interesting but far outside the scope of a dissertation for a one-year taught course, I fear
Richard Baynes - on 29 Aug 2014
In reply to andrewmcleod:

Well I suspect it was a bit more constructive than people just asserting from their own anecdotal. Don't dent the ambition! No-one seems to have suggested ,uch else so far. What's so hard about speaking to a centre and couple of client schools?
trouserburp - on 29 Aug 2014
In reply to bigrob:

You should include 'adventure therapy' in your literature search, although strictly speaking that includes more formal therapy during the adventure experience

The Wikipedia page has an unusually large number of references
bigrob - on 29 Aug 2014
In reply to bigrob:

cheers for al the replys!!!

Gave me a few things to think about and will be in touch with a couple fo you in the future for a bit of further help!!!

Kind regards

bigrob - on 29 Aug 2014
In reply to iccle_bully:

Hi Cheers for your reply,

Im at MArjons in Plymotuh. IM doing A B Ed in PE teaching but come from an OAA background, so want to go in that direction for a bit of research as I think it will be a bit more interesting!!

Thanks for your comments very helpful, not really narrowed down an exact area yet, more than anything was putting the feelers out for a bit of intel from other resources!

By the sounds of your reply, sounds like your an academic!!


iccle_bully - on 30 Aug 2014
In reply to bigrob:

I am part academic part practitioner based in the arts not sport but a lot of the theories and principals are the same. It's great to see someone interrogating the ethics and ethos of what they do rather than just cracking on blindly.

Good luck!

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