National Parks as Outdoor Classrooms: Environmental and Tourism Curriculum in Banff and Jasper National Parks




McNicol, Barbara

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The Grosvenor Center for Geographic Education


This article suggests ways to emphasize pedagogical outcomes using national park landscapes as classrooms. Recent conferences, with focus on parks and protected areas, have emphasized a need for integration of academic curriculum design with park management needs and concerns. Student travel to a national park should integrate learning outcomes and student behaviors for environmental and sustainability concerns about protected areas. For the article, a bioregional approach uses two Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, Banff and Jasper National Parks, to overview design and development of curriculum linked to environmental and tourism concerns within these national parks. Park managers and experts have been consulted to identify management priorities and emphases within each park and these have then been developed to suggest educational outcomes for visiting students through field experiences.



geography, national parks, outdoor classrooms, field based learning


McNicol, B. (2008). National parks as outdoor classrooms: Environmental and tourism curriculum in Banff and Jasper National Parks. Research in Geographic Education, 10(1), pp. 48-59.


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