Knapp, Clifford E. | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
Clifford E. Knapp was faculty in the Southern Illinois University Department of Outdoor Education and Recreation from 1964-1972. He grew up in New Jersey and attended Paterson State College (now William Paterson University), receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Junior High School Education. He went on to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, where he earned a Master of Science degree in Educational Administration and Supervision, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Curriculum and Instruction.
While earning his master’s degree at SIU, he was Lloyd B. Sharp’s last graduate assistant prior to Sharp’s death in 1963. After leaving SIU, Knapp taught outdoor education in the Ridgewood Public Schools district in New Jersey from 1972-1979. In January 1980, he became faculty at Northern Illinois University where he taught Outdoor Teacher Education. His course topics included environmental ethics, outdoor teaching methods, environmental and place-based education theory, and Native American cultures. He retired from NIU in 2001.
Throughout his career Clifford as worked in summer children’s camps as counselor and director in New Jersey, New York, and Illinois. He co-founded and co-directed a unique camp dedicated to human relations and outdoor adventure sponsored by the Sagamore Conference Center in Raquette Lake, New York for several summers.
He has written over 100 journal articles and book chapters, and 12 books, including Lasting Lessons, a book about helping others process experiences. His book Humanizing Environmental Education, written with Joel Goodman, is aimed at helping teachers integrate nature with human nature. In Accord With Nature helps to bridge the gap between educators and environmental ethics, and Exploring the Power of Solo, Silence, and Solitude, co-edited with Tom Smith, deals with the value of spending time alone in natural settings. His publication, Sourcebook of Experiential Education (formerly titled Beyond Dewey and Hahn, also co-edited with Tom Smith), is designed to deepen the conversation about the philosophy of experiential education, another of his writings expressing a passion for teaching and learning about local natural and cultural places.
Clifford’s professional memberships include The Association for Experiential Education, The North American Association for Environmental Education, The American Nature Study Society, and The Environmental Education Association of Illinois.