New devolutionary powers for education have been enthusiastically seized on by politicians and policy-makers alike to promote a more integrated and holistic form of education in Scotland. This period of curriculum renewal offers the prospect of increased levels of outdoor education; however, to date there is a lack of a clearly agreed rationale for learning and clarity about how curriculum will be experienced by students. Consequently, we analyse pertinent conceptual questions about these matters through reviewing articles and policy announcements prior to advancing, in a preliminary fashion, a rationale for outdoor education which conceives of outdoor learning primarily as a moral endeavour. In developing the proposed rationale as the organising framework for learning, the article critically considers the multifarious challenges of connecting policy intentions with the authentic learning experiences of students. In so doing it discusses many of the most apparent curriculum and pedagogical barriers to learning, which have led in recent years to fragmented provision and the under-realisation of increased levels of deeply embedded and connected outdoor learning experiences.
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