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5- Knowing,
Experiencing and
responding to
Experiencing and responding to outdoor environments
Outdoor environments are complex and extremely diverse, just like people.
Consequently, there are many different ways people will interact with and respond to
The way people view/value an outdoor environment is dependent upon the interactions
they are likely to undertake, what they believe they can gain from the environment, as well
as the context of their experience.
For example:
• Someone who has grown up on a farm may see the environment as a resource that
allows them to grow crops or raise animals until they can make a profit from them.
• An Indigenous Australian may be brought up to have a deep spiritual connection with
the land; they may feel ‘at one’ with the environment based on their cultural beliefs and

Other ways in which people experience and respond to outdoor environments could
As a place for
As a
Recreation &

As a source of
Spiritual As a

Connection: Study Site:

READ- the descriptions for each of the ways people
experience outdoor environments:
• Write a brief summary/description for each of:
- Resource pg.27-28
- Recreation & Adventure pg.28-29 Summary must include-
• x2 examples that support each
- Spiritual Connection pg.29-30 experience
• x1 positive- how the
- Study Site pg.30
environment can benefit from
this type of experience
• x1 negative- what is a problem
with this type of experience
Ways of ‘knowing’ outdoor environments

The environment can be encountered from different viewpoints and

These include:
• Experiential knowledge
• Environmental and natural history
• Ecological, social and economic perspectives
Experiential knowledge
• Is to gain knowledge through experiences that you actively engage in, using the
• Hands-on experiences are important for allowing us to form relationships with the
• Experiential knowledge can not be gained in the classroom, your experiences shape
your understanding.
• People who come to know the environment in this way generally have a deep and
clear understanding of it.

Write down 3 examples where you have 'gained knowledge' through experiencing
outdoor environments.
Environmental and natural history
• Is based on the understanding of land formations, climate and weather events,
changes to the landscapes and animals that inhibit it and a basic knowledge of what
has occurred in a specific environment throughout a period of time.
• Encountering through understanding the history allows us to reflect on change and
to predict the environments future.

Generate a brief timeline on the history of your local area. Consider the geological
history as well as human and animal interactions.
Ecological, Social and Economic perspectives
• Is the perspective of the interrelationships between living organisms and their
• This way of knowing our environment ensures the functioning of ecosystems.
• Focuses on the actions of society rather than the individual and how they encounter
outdoor environments.
• Relates to the environment being used for profit. It is associated to what the
environment has to offer in terms of its resource and income opportunities such as
tourism, farming, timber and water harvesting etc.
• The perspective of someone seeing as a resource is not always a negative to the