Examining the State of Parks and Recreation Degree Programs: Implications for the Future of the Field and Practice

Craig A. Talmage, Mark S. Searle, Kevin R. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The coming future for parks and recreation education must not succumb to the nostalgia of the glory days of the past. Such nostalgia risks oversimplifying the challenges overcome in the past and challenges faced now and in the future. This paper presents compelling evidence for the repositioning of parks and recreation education. It first frames the larger social forces (e.g., political and economic) that have impacted the parks and recreation field. An overview of the previous literature on parks and recreation education is presented. National data trends in degrees awarded in parks and recreation are illustrated and placed in the context of other human service fields (e.g., social work, urban planning, public administration, and tourism). It concludes by asking the reader to consider the design implications for curricula in parks and recreation and how to reposition parks and recreation education to ensure a better future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-48
Number of pages23
JournalSCHOLE: A Journal of Leisure Studies and Recreation Education
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Community development
  • higher education
  • leisure education
  • parks and recreation education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science

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