Claire Cherrington, Director/teacher- secondary program, Giant Steps
As part of her role at Giant Steps, Claire Cherrington has been working on a research project that examines how outdoor education can assist students in engaging in classroom-based lessons and activities. Cherrington’s project has mapped and graded outdoor education activities, then measured data on each student’s stamina, fitness, problemsolving and flexibility against levels of student engagement.
Initial results demonstrate that outdoor education programs have an effect on students’ resilience, health and fitness, attention, and emotional regulation. Giant Steps’ outdoor education program includes Indigenous perspectives and skills such as climbing, kayaking, bushwalking, mapping, and taking care of oneself in a non-built environment. One key outcome has been participation in overnight bushwalking camps, in which students travel up to 30km on foot.