Intercultural Learning and Outdoor Education: The Role of Body Concepts and Perceptions in Intercultural Settings

Activity: Talk or presentationScience to science


This presentation aims to illustrate, how outdoor education and experiential learning can be used for enhancing intercultural learning processes of persons and groups in schools and universities. It is based on a research that examines the perceptions of outdoor interventions on an emotional and physical level in these institutions. In this context it further highlights the role of different concepts of the human body that under a social constructionist approach are seen as social and cultural phenomena.

Experiential learning in an outdoor setting always induces movement of the human body and the emergence of all kinds of feelings. Intercultural learning in this perspective tries to emphasize possible emotional and physical learning outcomes that are apt to complement a primarily cognitive approach. The latter appears foreshortened, because an intuitional and physical perception of culture is excluded. To avoid ethnocentrism also on the physical level it is necessary to work on the feelings of persons that arise in culturally different situations.

Finally, the presentation recommends a careful adaptation of existing outdoor interventions, as these exercises themselves have to be classified as culturally bound. In addition, exercises can be integrated that focus on body perception, breathing and the relationship of movement and place.
Period4 Jul 20118 Jul 2011
Event titleThe 5th International Outdoor Education Research Conference (IOERC) 2011
Event typeUnknown
Degree of RecognitionInternational

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 509
  • 503009 Adult education
  • 501
  • 502026 Human resource management
  • 503025 School pedagogy