Thesis Title

Outdoor Education Opportunities for Middle School Students: Academic and Social Impacts of Adventure Programs

Graduation Date

Fall 2011

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name


Program Director

Madeliene Peters, EdD


This study examines components of outdoor adventure programs for middle school students, using a school with a successful program as a model. Outdoor education is often left out of these years for financial and safety reasons, however the benefits of adventure programs are both measurable and profound to self-concept, confidence, identity growth, and education. Connections between components are not well known, representing a gap in current research. Sub-analysis between trail groups of students on two middle school programs is conducted using participant surveys before and after the programs to identify components that may lead to positive and negative outcomes. This study shows that the components of outdoor education work to support or hinder the adventure process itself, which is most significant to the outcomes of the program for a participant. A new pyramidal model for the process of outdoor education may be useful in understanding the connections in Outdoor Education.

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