Outdoor Pedagogy

Course - first cycle - 15 credits

Syllabus for students spring 2017

Course Code:
NM185E revision 1.1
Level of specialisation
Main fields of study:
No main fields
Date of ratification:
16 February 2017
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Education and Society
Enforcement date:
16 February 2017
Replaces Syllabus ratified:
21 March 2016

Entry requirements

The special prerequisite for this course, besides basic eligibility for university studies, is field eligibility: English B.
For the Swedish upper Secondary grades, merit ratings will be calculated according to Områdesbehörighet 6/A6


The aim of the course is to develop students’ competence and knowledge about outdoor pedagogy, how it can be used pedagogically in different subjects with focus on sustainability issues. Students should develop their awareness of the complexity of sustainability issues connected to outdoor education.


The course covers theory and practice of outdoor education, mainly from the sustainability and health perspectives. The course requires active participation in seminars and outdoor activities. During the course, students will plan and organize various kinds of outdoor activities and will develop their knowledge of different conflicting interests related to sustainability and health in outdoor life. The course offers the students the possibility of developing their skills in planning outdoor learning activities and using and adapting the surrounding environment as an educational arena. Students will become acquainted with and learn to evaluate recent research in outdoor education.

Learning outcomes

After completing the course the student will be able to

  • reflect on ecological contexts of natural environments as well as relations between nature and society from the perspective of sustainability anchored in outdoor education
  • lead and organise outdoor education in an interdisciplinary context with focus on promoting health and sustainability
  • reflect on and problematise how outdoor environments can be used for pupils’ learning, development and health
  • discuss how school surroundings can be pedagogically and sustainably developed.

Learning activities

Learning activities include outdoor workshops, seminars and lectures and overnight camp. Both individual and group works are part of the course.


Portfolio Examination (7, 5 credits)
This examination will assess learning outcome 2 and 4.

Oral and written Examination (7, 5 credits)
This examination will assess learning outcome 1 and 3.

Grading system

Excellent (A), Very Good (B), Good (C), Satisfactory (D), Pass (E) or Fail (U).

Course literature and other teaching materials

Brage, C. (2010). Teaching Technology outdoors. Naturskoleföreningen (137p.)
Henderson, B. & Vikander, N. (2007). Nature first. Outdoor life the friluftsliv way. Toronto. Natural Heritages Books (100p.)
Gurholt, KP (2008) Norwegian friluftsliv and ideals of becoming an ‘educated man’. Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning, 8:1, p. 55–70
Sandell, K.; Öhman, J. & Östman, L. (2005). Education for Sustainable Development. Nature, school and Democracy. Lund: Studentlitteratur (235p.)
Sandell, K. & Öhman, J. (2010) Educational potentials of encounters with nature: reflections from a Swedish outdoor perspective, Environmental Education Research, 16:1, p 113-132

Course evaluation

Evaluation is an integral part of the course and takes place on two separate occasions: mid-course and at the end of the course. A final written individual evaluation based on learning outcomes is completed at the end of the course. The result of the course evaluation is summarized and made available in a report to be used as a basis for future courses.