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An investigation into formal and informal learning in outdoor adventure: a case study of a local authority adventure teamThis thesis develops understanding in using outdoor adventure as a tool for learning for young people. It examines how adventure pedagogy may be applied in conjunction with classroom education to offer physical and visual means to enhance classroom theory. The core of the study was the examination of a local authority Adventure Team, identified by the Authority management as having strayed from its roots, although not perceived as ‘failing’. The researcher became insider-researcher to combine professional experience with research knowledge, envisaging this study as the pre-cursor to an action research team development project. The aims of the research were whether the Team was delivering the ‘learning’ mandated by its youth work location and whether it could strengthen its delivery. The study defines adventure, before exploring the underpinning concepts making up the elements of ‘The Adventure Team’ and its identity within the local authority. Literature advocates adventure as a powerful tool to develop social and emotional literacy, which dovetails into Government agendas on health and education. Although the study was undertaken prior to the current coalition Government, the principal agenda remains consistent with the previous regime. The Government at the time of the research promoted adventure as a means to help young people learn about the world in which they live, and the current Government has not rescinded this ambition. This work embodies learning as an interactive process whereby adventure can engage the individual on an agenda of personal and social awareness, as well as cognitive learning. Using case study as the research approach, data collection was achieved using interviews, participant observation and secondary data. The research found that the Team could achieve more by developing closer working relationships and by the Authority leadership being strengthened to offer greater direction and support. The framework of delivery was centralising the Team such that it had become isolated, with little governance and without partnerships to make the programmes as powerful as they could be. The conclusion is that the Team could fortify its delivery through alliances to provide visual and physical means to reinforce and support traditional learning, which enhances understanding. Informal learning helps young people to understand how they learn and how they can apply learning, which augments motivation and creates ownership of the learning. The research is a forerunner to at least two future research studies. Firstly an examination of the legacy of the ‘Learning Outside the Classroom’ Manifesto (2006) and secondly, an exploration of the influence of the coalition Government’s assumption of power on multi-agency partnerships, early intervention and targeted youth support, as was envisaged under the previous regime as the ‘Every Child Matters’ (2003) agenda. In addition to this, a book exploring how adventure can be used to address formal and informal learning as an ‘off the shelf’ resource to present activities and potential outcomes has enormous potential in the sustained delivery of outdoor learning as a valuable learning tool.