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Being "Top Right"

The Outward Bound Trust


At Outward Bound we are proud of our delivery as outdoor practitioners.  We aim to be "Top Right" - high on adventure and high on learning, in everything we do.  We achieve an extraordinary impact in the achievement of our learning objectives by impelling participants into real and challenging adventures.  These Adventures take place in the wild landscape that enable participants to understand more about themselves, more about their interactions with other people and more about the wider environment.


The combination of focused learning objectives delivered through challenging adventures is what we mean by being "Top Right".  This is a critical element in the offer that we make to all our clients and is what makes Outward Bound's delivery special.


To operate at "Top Right" level requires a specially skilled trainer, one who has both the educational expertise to focus on the learning objectives, and technical qualifications and competence to safely take participants out of their "comfort zones" whilst embarking on a challenging adventure in the outdoors on land or water.  When combined with the Outward Bound Learning Process* which describes the 8 key stages in delivery we are able to achieve "Peak Learning" which delivers extraordinary results with participants.


‘Learning through Frontier Adventure’ was first researched by Colin Mortlock, who is a world authority on outdoor education and published in "The Adventure Alternative, attempts to define some of the deeper values implicit in the outdoor adventure experience  This methodology has been at the heart of Outward Bound’s practice since it was first established to support the development of trainee merchant seamen in the 1940s.


The Outward Bound Learning Process is briefly outlined in the attached booklet and illustrates the following key stages in learning:


  1. Planning courses and the sharing of course aims and objectives.
  2. Engagement and building rapport with participants.
  3. Participants Review room.
  4. Appropriate models.
  5. Focus on ‘Individual’ and ‘Individual as part of a group’.
  6. Visiting staff engagement.
  7. Reflection / guided questions / constructive feedback / facilitation.
  8. Transfer of learning and action plans.

William Ripley.  Director of Learning and Adventure. The Outward Bound Trust. April 2013

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