Research and Development is an important part of Outward Bound Australia's work. Over its fifty year history, Outward Bound has contributed widely to developments in the outdoor education and personal development fields. This section of our site provides a portal into some of our past research activities and current projects. Partnering with researchers and education institutions is integral to our approach. If you are interested in partnering with Outward Bound Australia to conduct research, please contact us.

Cranbrook Study Proves Outward Bound Tops The Class in Student Development

Cranbrook partners with Outward Bound Australia for the delivery of its outdoor experiential learningprograms. The school sends students from Year 7 to 10 on an Outward Bound course every year. More than 500 boys participate starting at a relatively young age in Year 7 and continuing through courses that increase in challenge and seriousness to Year 10.

The study – the first to follow outcomes over a four year period – shows the boys develop slowly in Year 7, then gather speed through Year 8 and 9 before emerging with life skills that are literally off the scale of academic measurement at the conclusion of their Year 10 course. Cranbrook’s Year 10 students notched scores well above those anticipated by the scale of measurement, achieving results in the 150% range for improvements in most life skill areas.


Cranbrook Group

Read more: Cranbrook Study Proves Outward Bound Tops The Class in Student Development


What the Research Really Says!

The marketing, the stories, the instructors and the theories all give the impression that Outward Bound works. From one small idea in the 1940's there are now over 40 schools and thousands of people doing Outward Bound programs around the world every day. This remarkable growth of an 'alternative', non-for-profit approach to education and training is testimony to the success of Outward Bound programs.

For many people this sort of evidence speaks for itself......the renewed sparkle in someone's eyes, the excitement when people realise that their potential is more than they'd previously dreamt, the close sense of community experienced by people who were once strangers......and so the list goes on.

For many people, what can be seen, heard, felt, and the stories that are told, is what Outward Bound is really about. For other people more tangible evidence is necessary.


Read more: What the Research Really Says!


LEQ - Life Effectiveness Questionnaire

The Life Effectiveness Questionnaire was developed by James Neill and Garry Richards of Outward Bound Australia in the 1980's. Since that time, it has become one of the leading tools to measure growth and outcomes in outdoor adventure education programs. Outward Bound Australia uses LEQ to measure the growth in student self-perceptions on its programs. A number of versions of this tool exist and are adapted to specific client groups.

Read more: LEQ - Life Effectiveness Questionnaire


Upcoming Courses

Mon Apr 21 - Sun Apr 27
ACT Australian Alps Family
Mon May 05 - Mon May 12
WA Catalyst Leadership Development
Sat May 24 - Fri May 30
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Mon Jun 30 - Fri Jul 11
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Mon Sep 22 - Sun Sep 28
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Mon Sep 22 - Sun Sep 28
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VIC Snowy River Navigator
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WA South West Family
Sun Sep 28 - Thu Oct 09
WA South West Navigator
Sat Oct 18 - Fri Oct 24
NSW Catalyst Leadership Development
Mon Jan 05 - Sun Jan 11
ACT Australian Alps Family
Mon Jan 05 - Fri Jan 16
ACT Australian Alps Navigator
Mon Jan 05 - Fri Jan 16
VIC Snowy River Navigator
Tue Apr 07 - Sat Apr 18
ACT Australian Alps Navigator
Tue Apr 07 - Mon May 18
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