Outdoor Literature

 

Course Syllabus

   

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Class Syllabus
Survey of Outdoor Education Literature  (PE 4440)

 

Summary
PE 4440 Survey of Outdoor Education Literature                

3 Credits
Fall Semester - Second Half  

Ron Watters (wattron@isu.edu)
Tuesday/Thursday  3:30 - 5:50 pm

 

Course
PE 4440 Survey of Outdoor Education Literature - 3 credits (Fall Semester)

 

Moodle & Course Website
Moodle has a link to the course website at the following URL address:  http://www.ronwatters.com/Literature.html

 

Course Instructor, Office and Contact Information
Ron Watters is a professor emeritus with Sports Science and Physical Education Department. He is the former director of the Idaho State University Outdoor Program and is the author of seven books on outdoor activities. Active nationally in the field of outdoor education, he is one of the founders of the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education, and serves as the director of the National Outdoor Book Awards.

 

Note that he is a part time instructor and does not have office hours like full-time faculty.  Feel free to contact him via email (wattron@isu.edu).  You may reach him at the Outdoor Program Office (236-3912), or feel free to call him at home 232-6857. 

 

University Catalog Course Description
"An examination of recent research, literature and contemporary writing in outdoor education.  Course work consists of a series of reading assignments followed by oral reports and class discussions." 

 

Course Content
This is a course on outdoor literature. Outdoor literature, of course, is a broad topic and includes several different genres including writings in outdoor adventure, nature, the environment, and adventure travel writing.  To keep things manageable, the emphasis of this course is on outdoor adventure writing:  exploration, survival, sailing, mountaineering, whitewater boating, kayaking, etc. 

 

But outdoor adventure writing can't be totally divorced from other related genres. There are a number of key works which--although not technically outdoor adventure--have had a profound influence in all outdoor writing.  One prime example is Thoreau's Walden.  Knowingly or unknowingly, many of the reasons that people offer these days on why they participate in outdoor adventure activities can be traced to the pages of Walden.

 

In addition to covering important works which had an influence on outdoor adventure writing, it is also the purpose of this course to provide some sense of history.  Outdoor adventure activities such as mountaineering and river running have a rich history populated with fascinating men and women, and filled with triumphs and failures, and real-life mysteries.  A great amount of satisfaction is derived from knowing something about the people and events which shaped outdoor activities.  Mountaineering, for instance, is much more alive and you have a greater appreciation for the sport when you understand the struggles that climbers went through in the past.

 

Thus this class encompasses outdoor adventure, its history and the writings which influence outdoor adventure.   To provide variety, readings will be selected from a range of different outdoor activities.  Some of those activities include survival, mountaineering, horseback riding, river running, arctic exploration, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, desert hiking, and backpacking.

 

Targeted Standards
The Sports Science and Physical Education Department’s Outdoor Education curriculum at Idaho State is based on a foundation of five nationally recognized standards.  Standards are important to you and your instructors because they define clear and realistic goals and they assure that you receive a well-rounded, high quality education.  The following standard applies to this course:  Standard 1 (Content Knowledge).

 

Course Objectives
Goal 1: Philosophical Foundations
Objective 1A:  To gain an understanding of the philosophic underpinnings found in outdoor literature
Objective 1B:  To study the influence of wilderness in American culture


Goal 2: Environmental/Ecological Foundations
Objective 2A:  To develop an understanding of the relationship between the science of ecology and outdoor activities
Objective 2B:  To explore the connections between environmental issues and outdoor literature


Goal 3: Outdoor and Wilderness History
Objective 3A:  To examine some of the major events in outdoor adventure history through outdoor literature
Objective 3B:  To gain an understanding of the history of wilderness preservation


Goal 4: Outdoor Adventure Literature
Objective 4A:  To read and discuss major works of outdoor literature

 

Texts
Two texts are required for the class:

 

Krakauer, John. Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster.  New York: Random House, 1997.  (Paperback or hardbound versions are acceptable)


Watters, Ron. An Anthology of the Outdoor Experience.  Pocatello, Idaho:  Idaho State University, 2003.

 

Course Readings
The anthology text (listed above) covers the following authors and outdoor personalities:  Henry David Thoreau, Mark Twain, Edward Whymper, Wallace Stegner, John Wesley Powell, Isabella Bird, John Muir, Mary Kingsley, Robert Falcon Scott, Roald Amundsen, Sir Ernest Shackleton, Roland Huntford, Aldo Leopold, Sigurd Olson, Edward Abbey, Colin Fletcher, and Walter Blackadar.  Complete citations are provided in the anthology.

 

Another prime source of materials referenced in the course comes from:  Roderick Nash’s Wilderness and the American Mind.  New Haven: Yale University Press, 1967.  (Several copies of Wilderness and the American Mind are found in the Outdoor Adventure Center Library.

 

Other class readings will come from a variety of sources.  Included among those are the following:

 

Deschner, Whit. Travels With a Kayak.  Baker, Oregon: Eddie Tern Press, 1997.

Dillard, Annie. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. New York: Perennial Classics, 1974.

Herzog, Maurice.  Annapurna. New York: Lyons, 1997.

Hayes, David.  Passion Below Zero: Essays from Last Chance, Idaho. Ketchum,

Idaho: Lost River Press, 1995.

Houston, Pam. Cowboys Are My Weakness. New York: Pocket Books, 1992.

Gillman, Peter and Leni. The Wildest Dream: The Biography of George Mallory.  Seattle: The Mountaineers, 2000.

London, Jack. Short Stories of Jack London. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, nd.

McPhee, John. Coming into the Country.  New York: Bantam, 1976.

Service, Robert. Collected Poems of Robert Service.  New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1968.

Russell, Osbourne. Journal of a Trapper. New York: MFJ Books, 1955.

Walka, Ann Weiler. Waterlines: Journeys on a Desert River.  Flagstaff, Arizona: Red Lake Books, 1990.

Williams, Terry Tempest. Refuge.  New York: Random House, 1991.

 

Course Requirements & Assessments
This is a reading course, and the best way to do well in the class is to keep up with the regularly assigned readings.  By keeping up with the readings, you'll be able to fully participate in classroom discussions which are a key part of the learning experience.

Assessment of your progress in the class is done through written tests.  Most classes will have a short quiz on that day's reading material.  Additionally, one mid term and one final exam will be given which cover readings, lectures and classroom discussions. 

 

Class Schedule vis a vis Objectives & Learning Outcomes
The class is scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday from 3:30 to 5:50 pm, starting the second half of the semester.  The following provides an overview of the topics covered and how the topics and assignments relate to course objectives.   For a list of actual dates and assignments, see Outdoor Literature Schedule.   Bookmark this link and refer to it often. It has the best, updated schedule for class assignments. 

 

Note that is not required, but the instructor will hold two pre-course meetings for those students who would like to get an early start on the class.  Since the course is very fast-paced with reading assignments due every class period, the two pre-course meetings give you a chance to gradually work into the class and do some reading in advance of the class.

 

Note:  You'll need to have the text Into Thin Air read by the end of the Thanksgiving vacation.  If you will be travelling, or won't have time during the holiday, you'll want to read the book sometime prior to Thanksgiving

 

Course Segment

Topics,

Discussions,

Tests & Quizzes

Assignment &

Due Dates

Objectives & Learning Outcomes

Tue

Pre-Course Meeting 1.

Pre-course Introduction.  Attendance is optional.  Outdoor History.  Generations. Wilderness Concepts.  All of the information is available on-line under the link:  “Background Reading & Notes # 1”

No formal assignment but it would be helpful to read the following material “Background Reading & Notes # 1”

Goal 1 / Learning Outcomes 1A, 1B


Goal 3 / Learning Outcomes: 3A, 3B

Thur

Pre-Course Meeting 2

Pre-course Introduction.  Attendance is optional.  Reading from Osborne Russell's Journal of a Trapper.   All of the information is available on-line under the links  “Background Reading & Notes # 2.”

No formal assignment but it would be helpful to read the following material “Background Reading & Notes # 2”

Goal 1 / Learning Outcomes 1B

Tue

Class Period 1

First official day of class.  Attendance required.  Material covered: background Information on the course, including: outdoor history, generations, wilderness concepts and Osborne Russell.  Landscape painting concepts.  Paintings by Thomas Cole, Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran.  Photographs by  William Henry Jackson. 

Reading assignment: read Thoreau's Walden, first chapter in the Anthology (pp 3-20).  If you do not have the Anthology yet, you can read it by clicking the on-line link: “Thoreau.”   The Thoreau reading must be done for Thursday's class (Class Period 2).  Additionally, Background Reading and Notes #1 and Notes #2 must be done by Class Period 3.

Goal 1 / Learning Outcomes 1A, 1B


Goal 3 / Learning Outcomes: 3A, 3B

Thur

Class Period 2.

Thoreau reading due.  Thoreau Quiz.  Discuss Thoreau:  the concepts transcendentalism, his experiences at Walden Pond, metaphors and symbols found in his writing, and famous Thoreau passages. 

Reading assignment: Mark Twain, second chapter in the Anthology (pp. 21-29).  If you do not have the Anthology yet, you can read it by clicking the on-line link:  “Twain.”  The Twain reading assignment is due by Tue (Class Period 3), along with Background Reading Notes #1 and Notes # 2.

Goal 1 / Learning Outcomes 1A, 1B


Goal 2 / Learning Outcomes 2B


Goal 4 / Learning Outcomes 4A

Tue 

Class Period 3

Twain reading due.  Twain Quiz. Discuss Twain. 

Assignment: Edward Whymper, third chapter in the Anthology (pp. 30-46). Due Class Period 4.

Goal 4 / Learning Outcomes 4A

Thur 

Class Period 4.

Whymper reading due.  Whymper Quiz.  Discuss the Whymper reading.  Information on early mountaineering.  Watch the first Half of a video on John Wesley Powell. 

Assignment:  Wallace Stegner AND John Wesley Powell in the Anthology (pp. 47-71).  Due Class Period 5.

Goal 3 / Learning Outcomes 3A


Goal 4 / Learning Outcomes 4A

Tue 

Class Period 5

Stegner and Powell reading due.  Stegner and Powell Quiz. Powell discussion.  Second half of Powell video.

Assignment: Isabella Bird AND John Muir in the Anthology (pp. 72-88).  Due Class Period 6.

Goal 2 / Learning Outcomes 2B


Goal 3 / Learning Outcomes 3A, 3B


Goal 4 / Learning Outcomes 4A

Thur 

Class Period 6

Bird reading due.  Bird Quiz.  Isabella Bird discussion.  John Muir discussion.

Prepare for mid-course test

Goal 4 / Learning Outcomes 4A

Tue 

Class Period 7. 

Mid Course Test.

Assignment: Mary Kingsley in the Anthology (pp. 89-107)  Due Class Period 8.

 

Thur 

Class Period 8

Kingsley reading due.  Kingsley Quiz.  Discuss Mary Kingsley.  Discuss Jack London.  Read: “To Build a Fire.” Discuss Robert Service.  Read: “The Cremation of Sam McGee.”

Assignment  Robert Scott in the Anthology (pp. 108-118)  Due Class Period 9

Goal 4 / Learning Outcomes 4A

Tue 

Class Period 9

Scott reading due.  Scott Quiz. Lecture on the history of Arctic Exploration.  Scott Discussion.

Assignment:  Ernest Shackleton in the Anthology (pp. 119-133)  Due Class Period 10.

Goal 3 / Learning Outcomes 3A


Goal 4 / Learning Outcomes 4A

Thur 

Class Period 10

Shackleton reading due.  Shackleton Quiz. Shackleton discussion.  Video on Shackleton. 

Assignment: Read Into Thin Air. Due Class Period 11.

Goal 3 / Learning Outcomes 3A


Goal 4 / Learning Outcomes 4A

Tue 

Class Period 11

Into Thin Air reading due.  Into Thin Air Test. Everest History.  Mallory discussion.  Mallory Movie.  Into Thin Air Discussion. 

Assignment: Aldo Leopold AND Sigurd Olson in the Anthology (pp. 134-144) Due Class Period 12.

Goal 1 / Learning Outcomes 1A


Goal 3 / Learning Outcomes 3A


Goal 4 / Learning Outcomes 4A

Thur 

Class Period 12

Leopold and Olson reading due.  Leopold and Olson Quiz. Conservation history lecture.  Olson & Leopold Discussion. 

Assignment:  Edward Abbey AND Colin Fletcher in the Anthology (pp. 145 - 156)  Due Class Period 13.

Goal 1 / Learning Outcomes 1B


Goal 2 / Learning Outcomes 2A, 2B


Goal 3 / Learning Outcomes 3B


Goal 4 / Learning Outcomes 4A

Tue 

Class Period 13 

Abbey and Fletcher reading due.  Abbey and Fletcher Quiz. Abbey and Fletcher Discussion.  Abbey Film. 

Assignment:  Blackadar in the Anthology (pp157-169).  Due Class Period 14.

Goal 1 / Learning Outcomes 1A, 1B


Goal 2 / Learning Outcomes 2A, 2B


Goal 3 / Learning Outcomes 3B


Goal 4 / Learning Outcomes 4A

Thur

Final Class - Period 14

Blackadar reading due.  Blackadar Discussion.  Blackadar Film.  Contemporary Writers (Annie Dillard, David Hayes, Pam Houston, Ann Walka, Terry Tempest Williams, etc.).  Best Reading Lists.

Prepare for Final

Goal 1 / Learning Outcomes 1A, 1B


Goal 2 / Learning Outcomes 2B


Goal 3 / Learning Outcomes 3B


Goal 4 / Learning Outcomes 4A

 

Attendance Policy
According to Physical Education Departmental policy, students must attend at least 75% of a class in order to receive a passing grade.  Since frequent quizzes will be given and major tests will cover material discussed in class, it is to your advantage to make a concerted effort to attend all classes.

 

Evaluation Criteria and Grading Scale
College of Education approved percentage scale is utilized:
A = 94 - 100
A- = 90 - 93
B+ = 87 - 89
B = 84 - 86
B- = 80 - 83
C+ = 77 - 79
C = 74 - 76
C- = 70 - 73
D+ = 67 - 69
D = 64 - 66
F = Below 63

 

The final grade for the course is based on the following three components:  quizzes, mid term and final exam.  Each component is 1/3 of the total grade.  Here is an example of how final grades are calculated:

 

Total Quiz Score:  87%
Mid Term Exam Score:  75%
Final Exam Score:  90%

Final Grade = (87% + 75% + 90%) / 3
Final Grade Percentage = 84%
Final Grade = B (Using the chart above)

 

Assessment Consent
A part of institutional and state outcomes assessment requirements, and state and national program accreditation requirements, the College of Education collects copies of performance assessments and assessment data for the purposes of individual and program accountability.  By enrolling in this course, you consent to have your assessment information collected and utilized by the College of Education for these purposes and as part of credibility studies supporting the validity, consistency, and fairness of the assessments.

 

To protect your confidentiality, when summary reports are published or discussed in conferences, no information will be included that would reveal your identity.  If photographs, videos, or audiotape recordings of you obtained from your performance assessments are used to demonstrate program accountability, then your identity will be protected or disguised, or we will ask you for permission to disclose your identity in order to give you credit for your performance. We may disclose the assessment information we collect about you under other circumstances as permitted or required by law.

 

Assessment data are maintained and disclosed in accordance with Idaho State University policies to insure compliance with the provisions of the Federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended.  If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Peter Denner, Assistant Dean, at 282-4230 or dennpete@isu.edu.

 

Academic Dishonesty
Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism and cheating.  For more information refer to the ISU Student Handbook found on the following webpage: www.isu.edu/references/st.handbook/conduct.html#CONDUCT.  For definitons of cheating and plagiarism, see the ISU Faculty and Staff Handbook (Part 6, Sec. IX, page 6.9.1) found on the webpage: www.isu.edu/fs-handbook/part6/6_9/6_9.html

 

Reasonable Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The Sports Science and Physical Education Department is committed to providing a classroom environment in which all students may achieve their potential.  If you have a disability or think you have a disability (physical, learning, hearing, vision, psychiatric) which may need reasonable accommodation, please contact the ADA Disabilities & Resource Center as early as possible.  The Center is located in Room 123 of Graveley Hall on the lower Idaho State University Campus.  Its phone number is 282-3599.

 

 

Alignment of Standards, Objectives and Assessment Methods

As mentioned above, the outdoor education program at Idaho State is built upon a foundation of five nationally recognized standards.   Standards define clear and realistic goals - and along with classroom assessment - assure that you receive a well-rounded, high quality education.  The following chart matches standards with course objectives and how each of the objective are assessed. 

 

Alignment of Standards, Objectives, and Assessment Methods

Program Standard or Goal

Course Objectives

Assessment Method

 

Standard 1: Content Knowledge

Objective 1A: To gain an understanding of the philosophic underpinnings found in outdoor literature.

Written Tests

 

Standard 1: Content Knowledge

Objective 1B:To study the influence of wilderness in American culture

Written Tests

 

Standard 1: Content Knowledge

Objective 2A:To develop an understanding of the relationship between the science of ecology and outdoor activities

Written Tests

 

Standard 1: Content Knowledge

Objective 2B:To explore the connections between environmental issues and outdoor literature

Written Tests

 

Standard 1: Content Knowledge

Objective 3A:To examine some of the major events in outdoor adventure history through outdoor literature

Written Tests

 

Standard 1: Content Knowledge

Objective 3B:To gain an understanding of the history of wilderness preservation

Written Tests

 

Standard 1: Content Knowledge

Objective4A:To read and discuss major works of outdoor literature

Reading Assignments, Quizzes, Essay & Written Tests

 

 

Pub History: This page was originally located at the following URL:
http://www.isu.edu/~wattron/SurveySyl.html 

 

 

 

 

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