Experiential learning by teachers: Tales from an Outward Bound Educators Course

2000 2000

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Abstract (summary)

This one-year qualitative study was both exploratory and interpretive, examining the collected experiences of seven participants in the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School's eight-day open enrollment Educators Course during the summer of 1995. Interview data over the course of the year were analyzed to learn how these participants ascribed meaning to their experiences over time and integrated these meanings into their personal and professional lives. The meanings which emerged from their narratives were sorted, coded, analyzed and organized into a presentation of the data using thick description and verbatim quotes. Included is the researcher's journal of participant observation experience to provide baseline data for the course events.

The data are presented as seven “tales” crafted from both the four questionnaires (called benchmarks) completed periodically during the months that followed the and of the course and summative interviews which took place during the summer of 1996.

Participant expectations in anticipation of the course varied from person to person and were not fully reflective of Outward Bound's intentions for educators participating at the school. Analysis of the stories identified metaphors and themes which threaded through the data. Two themes were identified in the stories of all participants. The first focused on the boat within which much of the course was staged. The second shared theme concerned fear and overcoming it.

There was no significant follow up support from Outward Bound to sustain this integration of the experience in the professional arena. However, in spite of lack of a cogent design for specific outcomes for the course, one year after the event the participants find the Outward Bound experience transferable in meaning to their personal and professional lives. A variety of expressions of growth and change were offered by the participants in their accounts. Because of the limitation of self-reports it was concluded that the course, at best, only suggests the unrealized potential of experiential education.

Indexing (details)

Teacher education;
Adult education;
Continuing education
0530: Teacher education
0516: Adult education
0516: Continuing education
Identifier / keyword
Education; Educators Course; Experiential learning; Outward Bound; Teachers
Experiential learning by teachers: Tales from an Outward Bound Educators Course
Caldwell, John Michael
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 61/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
9780599611672, 0599611677
Brieschke, Patricia
Hofstra University
University location
United States -- New York
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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