© 2015

Understanding Life in School

From Academic Classroom to Outdoor Education


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. John Quay
    Pages 22-38
  3. John Quay
    Pages 144-165
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 166-173

About this book


Attending school is an experience that most people share but this leads us to accept rather than question the experience. Using the philosophies of Heidegger and Dewey, John Quay explores life in schools and juxtaposes the environment of a school camp with that of an academic classroom.


education school life outdoor education being Dewey occupation time Heidegger planning organization environment occupations philosophy

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of EducationUniversity of MelbourneAustralia

About the authors

John Quay is a senior lecturer in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He has recently published Education, Experience and Existence: Engaging Dewey, Peirce and Heidegger (2013) and John Dewey and Education Outdoors (2013, with Jayson Seaman). His research interests include educational philosophy, outdoor education, physical education and environmental education.

Bibliographic information


“In Understanding Life in School: From Academic Classroom to Outdoor Education, John Quay endeavours to restore and promote Dewey’s concept of occupational education. … Quay does succeed in demonstrating the benefits of designing curriculum around occupational experiences—particularly where serenity and beauty are valued over speed and deadlines. Under these conditions, the outdoor curriculum featured in Understanding Life in School becomes a cooperative venture.” (Jefferson Kinsman, Educational Philosophy and Theory, March, 2018)

“Understanding Life In School offers a wealth of interesting narrative information about how these particular teens view their experiences in and out of school. It also makes a valiant effort at convincing us that we should educate children, not future adults.” (Susan Engel, Teachers College Record, 2016)