Outward Bound Vietnam is registered by the Department of Education and Training as an educational provider, with a life-skills curriculum. This means all our trips and expeditions are educational.
The social and emotional skills learned at Outward Bound help students better identify and manage their emotions, establish respectful caring relationships and resolve conflicts that are crucial to ones’ well-being. These skills can also boost morale and add to the competitive capabilities of existing teams and workplaces.
Each Outward Bound program intentionally focuses on specific life skills such as leadership, communication, teamwork and cooperation, goal setting and other similar values. These competencies are referred to as learning outcomes and can radically affect the perceptions and behaviour of those who will undertake the experience.
It is the underlying intention that the skills and values learned through Outward Bound are transferred back to everyday life, as this is where the true transformational power of an Outward Bound course rests. Through Outward Bound’s eighty years of global programming, it is apparent that these programs often serve as enduring and pivotal points in a person’s life, as outdoor discovery provides a remarkably powerful, intense, and memorable platform for learning experiences.
Adventure and Challenge in the Outdoors
Outward Bound is recognized as a leader in providing experiential education in the outdoors where activities require special effort and where remarkable experiences involve uncertain outcomes within the acceptable risk.
In Outward Bound, we:
- Encourage participants to step out of their comfort zone.
- Set new physical and intellectual challenges in an adventure programme
- Offer an experience that motivates responsibility, self-reliance, teamwork, confidence, compassion and community service.
Each Outward Bound Vietnam program has specific learning outcomes that the instructors will actively help you to achieve.
At the core of each Outward Bound program is the desire to improve life skills. Each program has a separate set of learning outcomes centred around these life skills, and it is from these outcomes that programs are designed.
Age-appropriate programming is a major priority for Outward Bound, to ensure students are not over-challenged or under-engaged.
As an experiential educational organization, we are continually keeping ourselves aligned with the life skills needed in today’s changing world. Outward Bound operates programs around the globe, yet we also understand that every place is special and unique because of the people, landscape, culture, and language. That is why all our programs are different from each country we operate in.
According to the World Economic Forum’s ‘New Vision for Education’, there is an increasing gap between the skills students learn and the skills students need to perform in the 21st-century. Lifelong learning skills like leadership, critical problem solving, creativity, emotional intelligence, decision making, and service orientation are getting more and more relevant to meet real-world challenges.
Outward Bound has been around for 80 years, yet ensuring we remain relevant to the needs of Vietnam in the 21st century.
We have undertaken a detailed study of the learning that occurs on our programs, with every participant completing an evaluation of gains since 2017. This detailed evaluation is documented within a separate OBV Impact Report 2020, and schools will receive a post-trip report to help you communicate these gains to parents and teachers.
Our educational framework has been benchmarked to align with many schools’ systems curricula. We have over 70 learning outcomes centred around three competency clusters to assist you with program design.
We recognise that learning falls within three key competency clusters: learning about self, others and the world around us. Outward Bound helps people discover more about themselves, others and the world around them, through challenging experiences in unfamiliar locations.
John Dewey, an influential educator, was instrumental in developing a teaching methodology that uses experience and reflection. This educational pedagogy is called experiential learning and underlies Outward Bound’s professional practice.
Outward Bound adopts this teaching process of experiential learning to learn about oneself.
On our programs, students engage through real and tangible experiences, followed by review and guided reflection, to identify strategies and techniques for improving life skills.
Experiential education is a departure from the conventional teacher-centred learning models that are prevalent in Vietnam and is used at Outward Bound for the formation of values and building of life skills.
Inside a Course
Outward Bound’s professional and supportive facilitators are central to this value-creating experience. Outward Bound takes people to wilderness places with professional staff and engages them in the process of learning.
Outward Bound utilises active engagements in the natural environment but is by no means a ‘tour provider’, or a military-style ‘boot camp’. As a values-based organization, Outward Bound asks course participants to embrace our common humanity, our diversity, and the natural world, and supportive instructors intentionally focus on learning outcomes and encourage participants to progressively take more responsibility throughout a course, taking increasing control and ownership of decision-making and group processes.
This may include meal preparation, choices about route, activities, schedule or menu and it impels the participants to take ownership of the course rather than simply being consumers of a product or passengers of an experience.
Participants are not forced to undertake any challenge they feel is beyond their capacity, and a technique which is known as ‘challenge by choice’ is used to emphasise this. Participants are encouraged into value forming experiences and the process is facilitated via developing ‘full value contracts’ of engagement with participants early in the process.
Through daily reviews, participants continuously reflect on their contribution and how they have contributed to the success of the group. These often powerful reviews allow instructors to develop the educational framework and achieve learning outcomes defined at the start of the course.