Defence: Accidents and safety in outdoor education

On 14 October, Lena Dahl is defending her doctoral dissertation on accidents and safety in outdoor life teaching in Norwegian upper secondary schools.



October 14


Aud. Innsikt, NIH




The theme of this dissertation is accidents and safety in outdoor education in Norwegian upper secondary schools.

Every year, the media reports of rescue operations and accidents in Norwegian nature that involve high school students. At the same time, we know little about how many accidents that occur or the extent of the injuries. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) have called for more research-based data on the subject.

Accidents and injuries in outdoor education can have health-related consequences and can have a serious financial impact on both individuals and society. To prevent accidents in outdoor education, it is important to gather data about the accidents and how to prevent them.

In this dissertation, I used questionnaires to research the number of accidents, the type of accidents and why they happen. In addition, I used focus group interviews to examine outdoor teachers’ thoughts regarding safety and competence [levels?] in relationship to accidents. This way, the dissertation can help schools and teachers to purposefully work with accident prevention.

My findings show that 49 out of a total of 155 teachers reported 143 accidents between 2010 – 2013. More than half of these accidents resulted in hospital or doctor visits, 20 % in evacuation and 13 % in damaged goods. There is a statistical connection and an increased probability of reporting accidents among teachers who had a sports education without a specialization in outdoor studies. Furthermore, the findings show that teachers who work with outdoor education have varied safety practices. Many teachers emphasize safety thorough trip preparation, adapted lessons and awareness of the learning environment in which they will travel. But at the same time, other teachers place less emphasis on trip planning, thorough preparation and written HSE.

The dissertation implies that competence development should be prioritised for teachers who lack training in outdoor education if accidents are to be reduced.






Please observe:
The defence will be held in Norwegian and Danish.

10:15 - 11:00: Trial lecture
"A critical look at outdoor life research as a field of research in the Nordic region - with a special focus on scientific directions and traditions".

13:00 - 16:00: Defence on the dissertation

"Accident and safety in outdoor education in Norwegian upper secondary school `Sports programme´"

General information

The defence is open to the public (max 80)


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