Topic outline

  • General

    Conservation Education Tutorial
    Integrating Outdoor Skills into Formal Education Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies


  • Topic 1

    Unit 1 Why Formal Education?

    There are many benefits to natural resource agencies that work with schools to teach outdoor skills to their students. This unit explores the value of partnerships between natural resource agencies and formal education to teach outdoor skills.
  • Topic 2

    Unit 2 Why Outdoor Skills?
    This section highlights how outdoor skills help teachers/administrators accomplish their educational goals and objectives. If you have determined that partnering with formal education is beneficial to your agency/organization, then you also need to consider what formal education gets from the partnership. In order for a partnership to work, it must benefit all partners. Otherwise, it is not sustainable. So, why should formal education care about outdoor skills, aside from those educators who are already outdoor enthusiasts?
  • Topic 3

    Unit 3 Mapping Out a Plan

    This next section will focus on the steps needed to map out a plan for how your agency or organization can develop a working relationship with formal education partners in your state or regional area. Building lasting relationships with school communities is a great way to incorporate the teaching and learning of the outdoor skills into the mindset of the school and community. It is important to identify partner entities as well as specific individuals to contact to begin the conversation. Even if you already work with some formal education partners, there may be others with whom you should be working. Frame your identification and prioritization of partners and their roles within the context of the recruitment-training/adoption-retention model outlined for outdoor skills such as fishing, shooting and hunting.
  • Topic 4

    Unit 4 Identifying Challenges and Creating Solutions
    This unit will focus on identifying potential challenges to including outdoor skills activities and programs in formal settings and how to create solutions before they become problems. The most successful efforts are collaborative. Take adequate time to identify the best “fit” for your efforts based on mutual benefits to all key partners (agencies, organizations, schools, communities) while at the same time minimizing the challenges. Remember that challenges and solutions may vary based on perspective. But, if administrators or teachers think something will be a problem, it will hinder your efforts. The earlier formal education partners are involved in the process, the more likely you will have resources and support systems that address potential issues before they occur. Even if you have a program that is already “developed,” take time to review it with your key partners, and be open to changes/adaptations if needed to create solutions that work for everyone.
  • Topic 5

    Unit 5 Connecting the Dots

    In this last unit, you will expand on your ideas about the role formal education plays in the context of implementing a comprehensive outdoor skills education program. You will put everything you have learned about involving formal education in your outdoor skills programs. The information and activities are designed to help you think strategically about how to work with your formal education, along with your other key partners, to move participants from gateway activities to more specific skills. A well-planned and implemented formal education presence can be a key component of an overall recruitment and retention initiative, especially if your organization/agency works to link various outdoor skills efforts to create a broad-based program with diverse partners involved in different aspects/stages of nature-based, outdoor recreation.
  • Topic 6

    Unit 5 Tell Us What You Learned

    Now that you have completed this tutorial on Integrating Outdoor Skills into Formal Education, please take a few minutes to tell us a little about what you learned and found important. We are also interested in hearing about any new topics or content areas that you feel would compliment this series.
    After you complete the assessment, you can also download your Certificate of Completion for your 10 professional development hours. The Certificate can be downloaded from the Tutorial Resources Folder.

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