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Risk and Benefit in Outdoor Learning

Risk and Benefit in Outdoor Learning

 

One aspect of helping children to prepare for adult life is to expose them to managed risk, while supporting them in learning how to cope. For instance, we help children to learn how to manage the risk of drowning not by keeping them away from the sea, rivers or lakes, but by teaching them how to swim, and how to manage the water environment.

Outdoor learning often takes an incremental approach to risk, gradually increasing children’s exposure as they gain confidence, with self-management, sound judgement and self-reliance as the ultimate goals.

Nothing Ventured... Balancing risks and benefits in the outdoors aims to encourage readers to take a reasonable and proportionate approach to safety in outdoor and adventurous settings, and to reassure them that managing risks should not be a disincentive to organising activities.

"The next generation is tomorrow’s workforce. Helping young people to experience and handle risk is part of preparing them for adult life and the world of work. Young people can gain this experience from participating in challenging and exciting outdoor events made possible by organisations prepared to adopt a common sense and proportionate approach that balances benefits and risk. I support this publication for the encouragement that it gives to everyone to adopt such an approach”
Judith Hackitt CBE, Chair, Health and Safety Executive

Myths and Misconceptions

Noting Ventured explores six common myths in detail and outlines how to take a balanced risk-benefit approach.

  1. The number of school visits is in serious decline
  2. Visits and outdoor activities are excessively dangerous
  3. Teachers face a serious risk of prosecution
  4. Litigation is rampant
  5. The courts are systematically making bad judgements
  6. Teaching unions are advising teachers not to lead or take part in educational visits

Written by Tim Gill and published by the English Outdoor Council (2010), the guide is a valuable tool in training teachers, youth workers, instructors and other professionals in outdoor learning.

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Risk and Benefits Outdoor Learning

 

 

 

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