In 2014 we invested in PhD research at Bangor University. The study has not only provided scientific evidence of the learning outcomes from an Outlook expedition, it has also become fundamental in the shaping of everything we do. Training, based on the PhD has already begun with our Expedition Leaders to ensure our expeditions have the greatest impact they can.
The first year of the research project involved over 800 15-19 year olds whilst on summer expeditions with Outlook, the second year included over 900 13-22 year olds, and the final data collection in 2013 saw over 1100 16-21 year olds take part. The research has examined the effect of leadership behaviours on aspects such as participants' self-esteem, teamwork and communication. Specifically, the research focuses on transformational leadership, which has demonstrated effectiveness in a variety of contexts, such as the military, the public sector, business, and more recently, teaching and higher education. For more information, please click here.Please click here for more information about the nine transformational leadership behaviours developed as part of the expedition leadership model: PHD - Transformational Leadership
More information about the learning outcomes examined in the research is available by following this link
In short, expeditions have a positive impact in elevating learning outcomes, and the expedition leaders' behaviours are critical in maximising the learning outcomes.
The research has been approved by the Ethics Approval Committee for Bangor University's School of Sports, Health and Exercise Sciences.
My thanks again to all students, parents, leaders, teachers, and Outlook staff members who have contributed time and data for the research project. Some fo the results and background were reported in the Institute for Outdoor Learning's (IOL) Horizons magazine late last year (you can find out more about the IOL here: IOL Home Page), and presentations at a number of sports psychology conferences have seen the work disseminated throughout the outdoor and academic world. It is the research team's aim that in the future, research papers will be published to ensure that all the results are published to a much wider audience.
The research is funded by the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship, the European Social Fund, Bangor University and Outlook Expeditions.