World Outdoors Summit leads the way in outdoor education
Outdoors New Zealand press release
24 September 2013
World Outdoors Summit leads the way in outdoor education and research
The world’s leading outdoor educators and academics are gathering at The World Outdoors Summit (WOS) - a four-day conference in Rotorua, New Zealand, 19-22 November - to share, teach and inspire with their projects and research.
The Summit is a rare opportunity for connecting, learning and engaging with the international outdoor education community’s most influential leaders and thinkers. Delegates will come away with access to fantastic tools and information specific to the outdoor education community, gain insights into the latest research and developments in outdoor education and learn about Māori whakapapa (genealogy) of the outdoors with a bush workshop.
Prominent outdoor educator, Liz Thevenard, will be speaking on the value that outdoor education brings to society. The intent of her presentation is to stimulate practitioners to engage in reflective practice and provide ideas to enrich and improve outdoor education programmes. Ms Thevenard is a senior lecturer in health, physical education and education outside the classroom at Victoria University, Wellington. She is currently the chair of Education Outdoors New Zealand (EONZ) and in 2009 was presented with the Sport New Zealand Supreme Award for her outstanding contribution to outdoor recreation and education.
Leading academic, Dr Justin Ihirangi Heke, is a Māori health and physical activity consultant involved in projects ranging from community-based initiatives to working with elite athletes. Dr Heke’s presentation will provide an introduction to atua, kaitiaki and tipua Māori (environmental guardians, animal guardians and spiritual guardians) and briefly discuss some of the current barriers to reintroducing these culturally relevant beings into mainstream outdoor education. Dr Heke is a lecturer at the Wānanga o Raukawa. He is also a consultant to the New Zealand Academy of Sport delivering to several national sporting bodies including Motorsport New Zealand, Cycling New Zealand, Motorcycling New Zealand and New Zealand Swimming Federation. Dr Heke strongly believes it is time we reassessed health promotion strategies for indigenous communities.
Other outdoor educators and academics presenting at the Summit include: Dr Ian Williams, from Australia, who will give an overview of findings from the Outdoor Youth Programs Research Alliance (OYPRA) research, including insights into perceived benefits of outdoor programs as well as key characteristics of outdoor experiences that might influence these outcomes; and Tom Deer, from Canada, who will share various games of the Iroquois that are still played today in the ancient way, and explain how they can assist in restoring a person's health and balance with nature.
Other topics the Summit will cover include innovations in outdoor recreation, policy development discussion with a political panel, and business development strategies for adventure tourism operators. Delegates can also look forward to a range of field trip options and workshops, including a Māori bushcraft session, hosted by Dr Heke and Paora Te Hurihanganui, and an EONZ Professional Development Workshop run by Ms Thevenard.
The Summit is the opportunity to explore, network and learn what's new and what lies ahead for the whole outdoors community. The Summit programme can be viewed at www.wos2013.com/