School of Education wellness faculty Carol Smith and Evan Small presented at virtual conferences this fall.
School of Education wellness faculty members Carol Smith and Evan Small presented at several virtual conferences this fall including the American Educational Studies Association national conference, Cortland Recreation Conference, Association for Experiential Education (AEE) international conference, and the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE) annual conference.
Smith, associate professor of wellness and program coordinator for adventure-based learning, presented a poster during the AEE international conference titled, ‘Study abroad in New Zealand – Let’s go!…Wait, I need to do what?’
This poster will present the creation, implementation and subsequent evaluations of a 3½-week study abroad program to New Zealand using adventure-based learning and eco-tourism as the pedagogy and content for the course. Students who participate in the program may/may not have experience in outdoor pursuits, so learning how to balance the wants of the “outdoorsy” people with the needs of less outdoor-minded participants leads for a very delicate balancing act.
The significance of the topic is many universities are incorporating study abroad into the curriculum. This program has run, successfully for the last eight years. While successful, there have been tweaks and changes along with the way regarding multiple components. The first year, a travel agent determined the itinerary of the program. Now, rather than using a third-party provider, the lead faculty takes on the added responsibility of making almost all arrangements myself, which has led to a more personalized program tailored to meet the specific learning objectives and goals of the program. There is a difference between tourism, and adventure-based educational tourism, which is the balance attempted.
(12-14 November 2020). Study abroad in New Zealand – Let’s go! … Wait, I need to do what? AEE International Conference, Pittsburgh, PA. Poster
Evan Small, assistant director of campus recreation and wellness for experiential learning and outdoor adventures and instructor in wellness, presented virtually at multiple conferences this fall.
When Nature Doesn’t Work For All: A Critical Examination of Nature-Based Education
Abstract: This will be a highly interactive session that will involve movement outside. Presenters will discuss the rise of nature-based education like forest schools, school gardening, and environmental education in the K-12 classroom. These pedagogies are often seen as ways to engage students in a more hands-on way and to help them develop an appreciation of the natural world. Through experience, art, and discussion, this session will examine the many benefits of nature and how those benefits can vary depending on a variety of identities. Participants will examine the prevailing narrative of nature as a healing space and uncover the ways in which experiences in nature can be harmful (Finney, 2014). Presenters will also discuss ways that teachers can incorporate nature into their classrooms while being mindful of the contested nature of the individual student experience (Fox, 2008).
Sustainability for All? Promoting a Critical and Anti-Racist View of Sustainability in Outdoor Education
Abstract: This interactive and engaging session will discuss the development and popularization of sustainability in the outdoor education field. Organizations like Leave No Trace have made environmental conservation a commonplace topic on outdoor trips across the United States. However, these discussions can focus on one specific form of sustainability and exclude perspectives from indigenous, Black, and queer voices. This session aims to showcase how bringing a critical lens to Leave No Trace and other forms of environmental sustainability can promote a view of the outdoors for all.
Sustainability for All? Promoting a Critical and Anti-Racist View of Sustainability in Outdoor Education (November 2020). Cortland Recreation Conference.
When Nature Doesn’t Work For All: A Critical Examination of Nature-Based Education (October 2020). American Educational Studies Association national conference.
Mental Health First Aid Workshops
Smith and Small conducted mental health first aid workshops for both the AEE international and AORE annual conferences.
Abstract: Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis. The agenda for Mental Health First Aid course includes learning the risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help. Topics covered include depression and mood disorders; anxiety disorders; trauma; psychosis; and substance use disorders. Mental Health First Aid teaches about recovery and resiliency â?’ the belief that individuals experiencing these challenges can and do get better and use their strengths to stay well. This National organization provides a standardized curriculum for veracity of the information yet allows leeway for experiential education.
(12-14 November 2020). Mental health first aid workshop (and certification). AEE International Conference, Pittsburgh, PA. Extended Education (pre-conference) workshop
(28-30 October 2020). Mental health first aid workshop (and certification). AORE Annual Conference, Myrtle Beach, SC. Pre-conference workshop