A Curriculum for Primary Outdoor Education in Victoria? Learning from comparisons between Finland and Victoria

A Curriculum for Primary Outdoor Education in Victoria? Learning from comparisons between Finland and Victoria


1:20 – 2:10 pm
13th of July

Room: Stringy Bark 1

John Quay
Bethany Batchelor
Simon Prokopiwskyi
Alanna Besley
Juha Kokkonen

Primary outdoor education is a crucial part of the educational pathway through school, impacting secondary education. But there is no agreed curriculum that acknowledges what outdoor educators do. In this workshop, we shall compare the ways primary outdoor education is taught in Finland and Victoria, focused on curriculum and operational practices. An important task will be to examine of draft curriculum for primary outdoor education in Victoria.

About the Presenters

John Quay’s teaching career began working with a range of schools at OEG. He then taught at St Paul’s Anglican Grammar School in Warragul, as head of sport and outdoor education. John has completed graduate diplomas in educational administration and student well-being, as well as his MEd by research and PhD, at the University of Melbourne. His research and teaching build on a combination of his experience in schools and his endeavour to better understand education through philosophical means.

Simon spent 16 years teaching in a traditional primary school, where he focused on facilitating the development of student flexibility and teamwork in a supportive learning environment. Wanting to focus more on Physical Education, Health and Wellbeing, Simon took on the role as a Leading Teacher at the Woorabinda campus of Somers Outdoor School at the end of 2021. He is currently developing experiences that promote student wellbeing and social skills while engaging with the outdoors.

Juha Kokkonen works as a senior lecturer at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, teaching and conducting research in the fields of physical activity, sport pedagogy, physical education motivation and student-centered teaching practices among school aged children, as well as outdoor education. He earned his Master and PhD degrees in physical education at the University of Jyväskylä.

Bethany has 20 years of experience within a variety of teaching roles in Australia and the UK. Having completed a BEd (Primary) she has led curriculum design, outcomes measurement and innovative pedagogy in a range of educational settings. Her teaching practice was grounded in working in alternate schools to support access to education for disadvantaged young people. She has extensive experience leading in special needs and mainstream schools and is currently a Leading Teacher with Somers School Camp.

Initially beginning her career in a mainstream classroom setting, Alanna first became interested in outdoor education after seeing the increased connection students had with themselves and their environment. During the pandemic, she lead Remote Learning and took on the role of Science specialist at Wonthaggi Primary School before making the move to Woorabinda School Camp. This move has only increased her passion for outdoor learning.

Our Outdoors Victoria Conference 2023 Sponsors