Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Education: Policy, Foundation and Administration


Educational Leadership and Policy




Outdoor education, Child psychology



Physical Description

1 online resource (3, vii, 99 leaves)


The out-of-doors is being utilized increasingly by school personnel for developing programs to extend the classroom to include the natural environment. It is hoped that a climate for learning, enriched with direct laboratory experiences, will establish a situation where all students benefit. This study is concerned with the investigation of students’ attitudes and self-concepts following such an outdoor school experience. The students selected for this study attended a sixth grade class from one of the following Oregon schools: Holy Redeemer and George, of Portland; Eastham, located in Oregon City, and Rainier located in the town of Rainier. The test group spent six days at an outdoor school, situated in Colton, Oregon. Data was secured from one-hundred and thirty-one sixth grade boys and girls from lower to high socioeconomic backgrounds. The instruments used to measure and evaluate the response of the group were: (1) An Attitude Scale, containing sixteen items, that would demonstrate students’ values toward the natural environment. (2) A Concept Scale I, with fifteen items, that showed responses to what the students thought of himself. (3) A Concept Scale II, that recorded the students’ responses to how they thought others viewed them. This scale contained fifteen items. (4) A diary was constructed to record the unsolicited comments from the students that attended Holy Redeemer School. The design of the study included testing all the students two weeks before the outdoor experience and five weeks after by means of the Attitude Scale and the two Concept Scales. An item analysis of the students’ diaries was made to record any values that may have been mentioned. A statistical level of reliability was calculated on each of the school groups after the posttest. From the results of this investigation, the following conclusions seemed justified: The experience of the out-door school provides opportunities that affect the attitudes of students toward the natural environment in a positive way. The outdoor school increases relationships that are conducive to the attainment of favorable self-concepts in the participants. The experience of the outdoor school had a positive, measurable effect, on the students as a group, after a prolonged period of time.


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Portland State College. School of Education

Persistent Identifier