International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

Date of Award


Degree Type

Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Community Development and Planning (CDP)


International Development, Community and Environment

Chief Instructor

Kathryn Madden

Second Reader

Gillian Bowser


Historically, the field of outdoor experiential education (OEE) has been exclusionary and has primarily served white middle- and upper-middle class male populations. Scholars have called for research on how to address issues of social justice in the field for decades, and leaders are finally making steps toward becoming more inclusive. Through a secondary analysis of empirical studies on OEE, this paper examines how the field has modified its focus towards minority populations in K-12 OEE programs in the United States and provides recommendations for practitioners of OEE. There is evidence of an increase in studies on how OEE is perceived by minorities and how its impacts have affected different communities over the last 40 years. The understanding of attitudes and perceptions of OEE has changed with the introduction of new concepts regarding health and wellbeing tied to outdoor experiences as well as social justice.



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