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Online Courses

The Oregon State University (OSU) Extension Service Outdoor School program is proud to offer open-access, on-demand courses that educators can engage in at their own pace. Online courses are offered in collaboration with OSU's Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) team.

Critical Orientations: Indigenous Studies and Outdoor Education

This course supports outdoor educators in engaging with culturally responsive incorporation of indigenous studies concepts into outdoor education curriculum and programming. While outdoor school programs in Oregon serve 5th and 6th grade students, this course's content applies broadly to all outdoor and experiential education.

Course Overview

Created by Dr. Spirit Brooks and Dr. Leilani Sabzalian, this course introduces the following concepts:

  • Land Acknowledgement
  • Colonization
  • Native Representation in Outdoor Education
  • Sovereignty and Self-Determination
  • Critically analyzing curriculum using the 6 P’s
  • Land-Based Education

What You'll Learn

This course is designed to surface some of the common assumptions and misinformation about Indigenous people and cultures, particularly as they relate to outdoor school in Oregon. You will:

  • Learn to critically analyze how Indigenous peoples and knowledge are included and represented in outdoor education and the consequences of bias, misrepresentation, and appropriation.
  • Reflect on how Indigenous studies concepts complicate and enrich our practice as outdoor educators.
  • Discover alternative curricular framings and orientations and support peer collaboration to develop ideas for different contexts using curricular self-evaluation tools.

You do not have to be involved with 5th or 6th grade outdoor school to access this course. The course content applies to all levels of outdoor education.

Coming Soon: An Introduction to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Outdoor School

We are creating a self-paced online course that supports members of the outdoor school community in:

  • engaging with and supporting students in culturally responsive ways at outdoor school,
  • applying principles of equity in their decision making at outdoor school, and
  • cultivating a welcoming environment for students.


Introduction to Inclusive Excellence in Extension 

While you're waiting for the outdoor school-specific introduction to equity, diversity, and inclusion course, you might be interested in checking out a related course: Introduction to Inclusive Excellence in Extension. While the course is designed for individuals volunteering for OSU Extension, anyone wishing to learn more about putting diversity, equity, and inclusion values into practice can benefit from this training.

This course was designed by Dr. Kristi Backe, Ana Lu Fonseca, Elsa Curtis, and Charissa Jones to support members of the Oregon State University (OSU) Extension community in understanding OSU's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as Extension's federal Civil Rights responsibilities, so they can be equipped to act in a manner that is consistent with OSU's commitment to Inclusive Excellence. 

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