Vacation is not for Learning: Using Recreational

TitleVacation is not for Learning: Using Recreational
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsSearl, Kathryn A.
Academic DepartmentEnvironmental Science
Thesis AdvisorShindler, Bruce
DegreeBachelor of Arts in International Studies in Environmental
Number of Pages50
Date Published01/2001
UniversityOregon State University
Thesis TypeUndergraduate
KeywordsEngland, interpretation, public education, recreational learning, visitors

Public educational programs have been taking place at natural, cultural and historical sites for over one hundred years. As the reasons for people's visitation change, the interpretive framework for developing the educational programs must also adjust accordingly. This paper describes the evolution of interpretation and the modem audience and examines the resulting impacts on public education today. It introduces the concept of recreational learning and discusses how it can help narrow the focus of interpretation to recognize and cater for the motivations and expectations of today's visitors. It discusses how using various interpretive methods and techniques, combined with the principles of recreational learning, helps enable interpretation to successfully reach out and educate the public about the resources. Finally, it demonstrates how the ideals of recreational learning give interpretation the potential to not only provide quality public education but also to actually help fulfill management goals and objectives at the same time. All of this information makes it clear that, in light of today's audiences, recreational learning is necessary to ensure that interpretation can maintain visitor interest and continue to meet its goals.