Abstract

This phenomenological study sought to identify the common attributes of meaningful learning experiences as found in an outdoor education program. The pragmatic educational philosophy of John Dewey provides the rationale for the essence of meaningful learning in our schools and this research identifies the attributes of educative reflective experiences that are also meaningful learning experiences. Thirteen students enrolled in the Wilderness Writing Program, offered during the fall semester of 2003 at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, made up the focus group of this study. Their participation in four outdoor recreational activities and their reflections about their experiences became the basis of this research. Through written journal entries, focus group discussions, observations, and writing assignments, this study took a qualitative approach to identifying patterns of attributes that appeared to occur in meaningful learning experiences. This study found that meaningful learning experiences were identified by participants who experienced a period of awkwardness followed by a purifying process, or sublimation. A reflective period allowed for reconstruction of a person 19s view of himself or herself and this was closely tied with feedback from others in the group. The findings of this study can give educators specific components that appear to be crucial ingredients to meaningful learning experiences.

Degree

PhD

College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Educational Leadership and Foundations

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2004-06-16

Document Type

Dissertation

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd438

Keywords

Experiential Education, Learning, Outdoor Education

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