Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


Outdoor recreation for children; City children--Recreation; Outdoor education;


My research paper will explore the divide between urban youth and their participation in outdoor programs. In an effort to provide a foundation of reason for the lack of participation in outdoor programs by urban youth, this study will be completed through an abstract approach on heuristic research and constraint theory. Heuristic research can be defined as the process of researching a “personal venture in search of understanding one’s self and the world around them” (Moustakas, 1990). In addition, constraint theory focuses on the barriers individuals face in regards to participation in activities or the completion of a goal (Samdahl & Jekubovich, 1997). By delving into the literature surrounding this topic I will identify the barriers that are keeping public schools from utilizing the opportunities that quality outdoor programs may offer as well as the pedagogies and methods of a few successful outdoor programs who seek to foster the development of healthy intrapersonal and social skill sets of urban youth (Outward Bound, 2010; Elkind, 2007; Kolb, 1984). I will also research current educational institutions in the Des Moines Metro to determine potential partnerships. The other purpose of this study is to research and explore ways urban classrooms and outdoor programs may partner to offer both their curricula to youth with the intent of fostering active and more effective contributing members of a rapidly changing society.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services

First Advisor

Rodney Dieser, Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (44 pages)



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