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PHSE516 Adventure, Environment and Society

2021 information for papers will be published in early September. 

An examination of human and environmental relationships in outdoor and adventure education in society. Students will explore their personal connections with nature through the literature and in a residential camp setting.

Adventure, Environment and Society is an examination of human and environmental relationships in outdoor education and adventure from a socio-cultural perspective. You will explore your personal connections with nature and adventure activities and critique the historical, philosophical and theoretical literature surrounding the diversity of nature relationships that exist in New Zealand and elsewhere.

This is a paper that involves the exploration and integration of literature and practice, including a residential camp. The emphasis is on socio-ecological and socio-political aspects of adventure, focused to develop a deeper ecological understanding. The approach places the learner as an intrinsic part of living and constantly changing processes that are biological, sociological, economic and political. It is hoped that a better understanding of these processes will provide a platform for positive environmental action.

Paper title Adventure, Environment and Society
Paper code PHSE516
Subject Physical Education
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,590.98
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $5,357.07

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PHSE 327 and PHSE 328
PHSE 416
Limited to
BPhEd(Hons), PGDipOE, PGDipPE, MDanceSt, MPhEd
36 approved 300-level points required.
The paper will appeal to students who enjoy activities like tramping, climbing, surfing and sailing in the outdoors. We adopt a socio-cultural perspective and provide an ecological framework to outdoor teaching, guiding and participation. The paper is premised upon the ethical responsibility of outdoor educators and adventurers to know non-human nature in a manner that engenders respect and preservation. Such an ethic of care and responsibility requires a quality of personal relationship with the natural world, and aspects of this paper are focused upon exploring and enhancing such relationships.
Teaching staff
Associate Professor Mike Boyes
Paper Structure
The paper is structured around the topics of:
  • Māori and pākehā histories
  • Power, discourse and landscape
  • Contemporary environmental debates
  • Ecojustice and critical outdoor education
  • Technology, craft and the social media
There is no compulsory text book. We draw on key readings from journal articles, book chapters and the social media. These readings are available on e-reserve.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
The students will demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the key concepts and supportive material and be able to apply them in research and practice.

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Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Thursday 13:00-14:50 28-34, 36-41