Presenter Information

Tessa A. LeakeFollow

Presentation Type

Presentation

Faculty Mentor’s Full Name

Cara Nelson

Faculty Mentor’s Department

Ecosystem and Conservation Sciences

Abstract

The effect, if any, that outdoor education and experiential learning has on health was studied by interviewing students who participated in the University of Montana’s Patagonia winter session study abroad course. I interviewed participants before and after the course and asked them a series of questions about their health. Questions included how they defined health, what the greatest determinants of health are, if they have control over their health, and if they considered themselves to be in good health. Students were also asked to rate their levels of health overall, mentally, and physically in regard to themselves and compared to their peers. I collected the responses from the before and after interview and then compared them to see if experiential learning like the Patagonia winter session course has any effect on health. It was my theory that outdoor education would have a positive impact on health, and most of the students did show an increase in their rating of health, however based on the size of this study I can conclude no significant effect on health from outdoor education. Despite being unable to draw any concrete conclusions on the impact this course had on the students’ levels of health, responses from students nevertheless aligned with studies done on outdoor education and the impacts it has on students.

Category

Social Sciences

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Apr 27th, 9:20 AM Apr 27th, 9:40 AM

The Impact of Outdoor Education on Health

UC 326

The effect, if any, that outdoor education and experiential learning has on health was studied by interviewing students who participated in the University of Montana’s Patagonia winter session study abroad course. I interviewed participants before and after the course and asked them a series of questions about their health. Questions included how they defined health, what the greatest determinants of health are, if they have control over their health, and if they considered themselves to be in good health. Students were also asked to rate their levels of health overall, mentally, and physically in regard to themselves and compared to their peers. I collected the responses from the before and after interview and then compared them to see if experiential learning like the Patagonia winter session course has any effect on health. It was my theory that outdoor education would have a positive impact on health, and most of the students did show an increase in their rating of health, however based on the size of this study I can conclude no significant effect on health from outdoor education. Despite being unable to draw any concrete conclusions on the impact this course had on the students’ levels of health, responses from students nevertheless aligned with studies done on outdoor education and the impacts it has on students.