Educators' perceptions of outdoor adventure pursuits

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Verhagen, John Joseph
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 1996
Outdoor adventure education is a popular tool for building individual self-esteem. Many programs such as Outward Bound attempt to enhance self concept, however the literature is inconclusive as to the individual effects of these programs. This paper attempts to look at the effects of an outdoor adventure on educators without quantitative tests. A qualitative method was incorporated with participants being asked to write about their experiences and their effects of those experiences on them. Four educators were used as subjects in the study. The participants went on a six day caving and backpacking trip in the Canadian Rockies. As part of the trip, they had to overcome many physical and emotional obstacles such as free rappelling 17 m (56 feet) through the roof of a cavern and squeezing through tight passages. Throughout the trip, the participants recorded their thoughts, concerns, and reflections. Some of the individuals expressed themselves in other mediums such as poetry, painting and drawing. All of the individuals indicated they were rewarded in their own way by being on the trip, however there were other common themes that emerged as well. With the perception of risk opening up emotions, many of the participants indicated that the experience provided them with the opportunity for introspection. Some of the participants found the experience to be a time for refocusing and redefining values which does not happen often in our hectic lives. A positive growth and change in the individuals involved was indicated, however the change is different in each. Personal growth and affirmation, introspection and change of the routine appear to be prominent outcomes of the outdoor adventure experience.
vi, 42 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm. --
Outdoor recreation -- Study and teaching -- Evaluation , Outdoor education -- Evaluation , Teachers -- Alberta -- Attitudes