Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Identifying the Educational and Character Development Benefits of Two Outdoor Education Programs in International Schools
by Pattison, David R., Ed.D., Regent University, 2017, 460; 10270610
Abstract (Summary)

For many years, two international schools in Southeast Asia have had, as part of their high school curricular program, annual extended cross-cultural service-learning Outdoor Education (OE) trips in which the entire student bodies participated. The purpose of this study was to identify the educational and character development benefits to students experiencing the OE programs. The study sought to identify and describe from the students’ perspectives how the OE programs contributed to the students’ growth in social-emotional and character development (SECD), 21st-century skills, and their schools’ global learning outcomes (GLOs). Additionally, the study sought to determine which components of the OE programs the students perceived as contributing to their growth. In this ethnographic intrinsic case study, the methodology for gathering data employed reflexive photography and photo elicitation interviews that resulted in photos submitted by students documenting their OE experiences, photo journals they kept during the trips, and transcripts of the interviews conducted soon after their trips. The student data were categorized and hand coded to identify 33 themes arranged in an explanatory schema. From the student data, 15 design-and-activity components were identified that facilitated 14 resultant design and activity outcomes. Additionally, four distinctive themes highlighted the importance of providing students with opportunities to experience collaboration, service, spiritual input, reflection, close communal living, reciprocity, and natural beauty. The components and outcomes were compared to the five aspects and selected character traits of SECD, selected 21st-century skills, and each of the school’s GLOs. The results of this study showed that students perceived that growth in SECD, 21st-century skills, and their schools’ GLOs was attributable to the 15 identified components. These components worked together to create challenging conditions and tasks that students experienced, performed, and learned during the OE program. A science course analogy can be applied to OE. In this analogy, students get the lecture portion of the course at home, school, and church, while the laboratory portion is experienced through OE. During OE, students have opportunities to apply and practice the knowledge and skills they have been learning in the lectures.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Stiff-Williams, Helen R.
Commitee: Carr, Paul B., Hanes, John C.
School: Regent University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Virginia
Source: DAI-A 78/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Instructional Design, Secondary education
Keywords: 21st-century skills, Global learning outcomes, International school, Outdoor education, Service learning, Social-emotional and character development
Publication Number: 10270610
ISBN: 978-1-369-73123-1
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