An alternative view of the outdoors


Brian Wattchow and Mike Brown. A Pedagogy of Place: Outdoor Education for a Changing World. Monash University Publishing. 2011

When Mike Brown asked me if I would do some proof reading and copy editing for the book he was writing with his Australian colleague, Brian Wattchow, I immediately accepted.  It was an appealing project for someone like me who has never been interested in climbing a mountain or paddling down a river. Mike and Brian question the traditional view of outdoor education as young people testing themselves against the challenges of the outdoors and advocate for inculcating a more empathetic relationship with an outdoor place, which includes its history,geography, ecology, culture and community. The authors have the right credentials. Mike is an accomplished sailor and mountain biker while Brian is an experienced and skilled kayaker. They both have PhDs and teach in academic departments at Monash and Waikato universities. So this is an academic work but one that is highly readable with plenty to interest the lay person, not least the personal and poetic observations of the outdoor places that mean much to each of the authors.

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