I have real bee in my bonnet about Outdoor Education. The current school system was devised when we had an Empire and we needed a system to run the empire. We needed administrators to run the Empire and they all needed to run off the same system because, due to the lack of Phones etc, communication was very difficult and took a long time. Therefore a system was developed for people to learn a regimented fashion and be taught a regimented fashion. This would then prepare the pupil for general administration duties throughout the Empire.
Well times have moved on a bit now haven't they. If I put my Civil Engineering Hat on (as opposed to my Mountaineering Instructor Hat), I work with lots and lots of very skilled joiners, steel fixers, pipe layers, masons and machine drivers. Good Joiners will read and understand a Temporary Works design drawing, they will then generally think of a better design that the Degree Qualified Designer, take off what materials they will require, not waste timber by calculating off-cuts, calculate the volume of concrete required, work out the number of props he requires (generally less than the designer thought), and they will do all of this using a pencil and a piece of 4"x 2". None of them will ever need to know how to 2nd differentiate an equation. Yet every single one of them will be on me in a flash if I haven't calculated their wages correctly.
We need a TOTAL re think of our education system and I think that Outdoor Education needs to play a big role in that. Outdoor Ed needs to step up to the plate too, dragging 15 kids to Wodens's Face on a wet Wednesday afternoon and expect them to get a love for the outdoors is just not enough. We need to inspire USING the outdoors not just showing them it. Ben Fogel's article is a good read from a man I've always had time for..
The Outdoors doesn't build Character, it REVEALS Character.