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The perception, management and performance of risk amongst Forest School educators

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journal contribution
posted on 28.01.2022, 15:06 by Mark Connolly, Chantelle Haughton
This article investigates how risk perception amongst teachers within an outdoor educational initiative, Forest School, both shape and are shaped by their understandings of childhood, pedagogy and their own professional identity. Drawing on a social constructionist perspective in theorising risk and childhood, the article argues that contemporary, hyper-sensitised concerns regarding children’s vulnerability emanate from both fears of the modern world, and the proclivity towards over-protection which these fears precipitate. Rather than treating this hyper-sensitivity as irrational or paranoid, the paper draws on socio-cultural theories and qualitative methods to interrogate how risk is perceived, managed and performed by teachers within an initiative which aims to reintroduce risk into children’s lives. The research found that while these teachers’ motivations to participate in Forest School were derived from a desire to expose children to formative risk-taking in the outdoors, the hegemonic cultural and institutional risk aversion which they were attempting to counter, aligned with their contested occupational identity, created tensions in how they managed and performed risk which militated against the full realisation of a Forest School pedagogy.

History

Published in

British Journal of Sociology of Education

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Citation

Connolly, M. and Haughton, C. (2015) 'The perception, management and performance of risk amongst Forest School educators', British Journal of Sociology of Education 38 (2) , pp. 105-124

Electronic ISSN

1465-3346

Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Education and Social Policy

Cardiff Met Authors

Chantelle Haughton

Copyright Holder

© The Publisher

Language

en