University of Leicester
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Influences on the development of outdoor persuits in French children's education

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posted on 2014-12-15, 10:43 authored by Norman William. Dobson
An attempt is made to identify factors leading to the development of Outdoor Pursuits (ODP) in French education from the beginning of the nineteenth century to recent years.;Research questions were posed based on early and subsequent knowledge of the field, from them hypotheses were developed grounded in the data found and the insights arising from visits, reading and discussion.;Examination performance is of overriding importance in French education; giving time to non-academic subjects such as Physical Education arouses teacher and parent concern for possible effects on career prospects.;Influences affecting the spread of ODP in education from the early 1800s include an increasingly affluent population and growing popularity of ODP in society. Belief in the value of contact with nature, and the therapeutic benefits of fresh air for city children encouraged charities from the mid-1800s to arrange country or seaside holidays for poor families and children Some schools for the well-to-do arranged holiday time mountain expeditions, reflecting practices in their social class.;New Education was introduced into France in 1899; its influence was apparent in the Popular Front government (1936-38) which made the forty hour week and two weeks paid holiday obligatory for all employees. Thus, ODP, formerly the domain the well-to-do, were more open to the general populace. To some extent New Education was apparent in Vichy government (1940-44) methods, and, more distinctly, for some years after the war, through government controlled experiments in 'active' education and school time ODP.;The traditional pressure of examinations and the spread of ODP in society have resulted in term time primary school visits which incorporate both academic work and ODP, so quieting the fears of teachers and parents; secondary school ODP meet more difficulties. Benefits claimed from ODP experiences are many and varied.


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University of Leicester

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  • Doctoral

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  • PhD



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