Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Cultivation and Transfer of Life Skills through the Outdoor Education Program at Besant Hill School Ojai, CA
by McCann, Amy E., M.A., Prescott College, 2012, 123; 1510669
Abstract (Summary)

This study examined the life skills gained and transferred as a result of participation in the Besant Hill School (BHS) Outdoor Education Program (OEP). As the Director of the BHS OEP, the researcher investigated select life skills and how they aligned with the mission of the school and the program. The mission of the BHS OEP is to provide students with opportunities to develop their intellectual, social, and personal skills, through challenge and adventure set in a wilderness environment guided by supportive educators (Besant Hill School, 2009c). The BHS OEP is rooted in the philosophy and theory of Adventure Education (AE), and is a required and defining piece of the BHS educational experience. A mixed method, case study approach structured this project and surveys and interviews were administered and conducted with alumni and current students. The author developed her research instruments by incorporating the domains measured by the Life Effectiveness Questionnaire (LEQ) (J. Neill, Marsh, & Richards, 2003; J. Neill, 2006b), and the life skills investigated through a study conducted by the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and the University of Utah, entitled The Long-term Impacts Attributed to Participation in Wilderness Education: Preliminary Findings from NOLS, (Sibtrop, Paisley, Furman, & Gookin, 2008), and the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) Transfer Survey (National Outdoor Leadership School, 2005). The quantitative and qualitative data yielded conclusive evidence of the influence the BHS OEP had on the development and transfer of specific life skills in alignment with the themes of self, community, and the world at large. The qualitative results from the surveys and interviews largely supported the quantitative results from the surveys. While this research was primarily concerned with findings pertaining specifically to the BHS OEP, in order to affirm the goals and objectives and improve the design and facilitation of the program, the data were also examined for their potential to support other school-based AE programs.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ustin, Arlene R.
Commitee: Mitten, Denise, Powers, Deb
School: Prescott College
Department: Adventure Education
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 50/06M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Secondary education, Curriculum development
Keywords: Adventure education, Life skills, Program development
Publication Number: 1510669
ISBN: 978-1-267-34649-0
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