Dec 6, 2010

Discussions with Abdul Samad, Outdoor Educator from Pakistan

Over the last few months I've spent some time meeting with Abdul Samad, a passionate outdoor educator from Pakistan, who is on a study tour of outdoor education programs in Australia (see Endeavour Awards). Samad, who arrives after an inspiring personal journey, visited and participated in more outdoor education programs and met more key figures in outdoor education in Australian than anyone I've previously known of, out of passionate curiousity to see what how outdoor education is conducted in Australia. Perhaps the most telling of Samad's observations about outdoor education here in Australia is that he observed much focus on outdoor activities and relatively little emphasis on the educational process and facilitation. I shared with him Simon Priest's life cycle observations about national development of outdoor education - if seems Australia might well be on the downward slide. Interestingly, Samad has contributed not only to his own education and that of outdoor education in Pakistan more generally, but also to discussion and collaboration between outdoor education organisations and people in Australia. A big thank-you to Samad for not only visiting Australia, but immersing himself so proactively and thoughtfully in exploring outdoor education practices here in Australia and sharing about outdoor education in Pakistan.
 Abdul Samad at the track junction on the Mt Tennent range - he was more than up for a quick rainy Spring hike and chat one dusk!
Abdul Samad and James Neill (Tharwa, ACT)

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