Cand.ed. Randi Myklebust Sølvik's dissertation for the degree of PhD
The title of the dissertation is:
Friluftsliv as social Learning landscape for at-risk youth. A phenomenological-inspired case study.
This thesis is written in the field of Special Needs Education, maintaining a focus on learning. The general purpose of the study is to increase the knowledge about and the understanding of friluftsliv (outdoor education) as a social learning-landscape. Two questions specify the study: (i) What characterizes social learning in friluftsliv? (ii) What characterizes the learning resources of friluftsliv? The study is designed as a phenomenological-inspired case study, based on data from participative observation and interviews over a one-year period at two alternative secondary schools.
The results indicate how social learning in friluftsliv is based on perceived participation and interaction. Social skills and judgements are acknowledged, practiced and challenged in experience-based communities, across age. The youths’competence and incompetence both become visible, which in turn opens for different learning paths and learning experiences.
The learning resources in friluftsliv are emphasized as both physical and social. The potential of the learning resources varies due to how they are understood and applied by the educators and schools. The nature opens for active participation and interaction through increased movement, perceived consequences and risk, and contrasting experiences. Relations between peers, and between youths and adults become visible, due to the availability of space and time for interaction and conversation across age. A mutual influence between youths' participation and interaction and the mentioned learning resources are emphasized as essential in the description of friluftsliv as a social learning landscape.
An increased insight into the learning experiences and learning resources of friluftsliv could make educators more aware when organizing the social learning landscape for at-risk youths. The potential that exists within active participation in real-life situations, investment in the youth-adult interactions and awareness of the social learning potential in unintentional learning situations are emphasized as practical implications of this study.
The study is conducted at the Institute of Special Needs Education, University of Oslo.