Aesthetic Experiences in Outdoor Experiential Education: Possible Impacts on Leadership Development and Attitudes About Inclusivity.

Altermatt, Eva and Di Giacomo, Lionel (2015) Aesthetic Experiences in Outdoor Experiential Education: Possible Impacts on Leadership Development and Attitudes About Inclusivity. [Abstract]

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Abstract

Part of the draw of expedition-based experiential education program are the absorbing, powerful moments participants may have in wilderness and non-human nature. These moments in nature are often called ‘aesthetic experiences’, characterized by total engagement in the present, awe on the part of the experiencer, and conditions of beauty or sensory novelty. Widely described in the literature as experiences which emphasize unity and connectedness, aesthetic experiences may promote inclusive and socially just leadership attitudes in outdoor program participants. These experiences may be of value to educators, but are currently poorly understood within the field of experiential outdoor education. Studying eleven participants in a college level Adventure Education semester emphasizing field expeditions, we tracked leadership beliefs and collected aesthetic experiences from participants over a two month period. Both shifts in leadership beliefs and aesthetic experiences were found, revealing increased belief in socially just concepts of leadership. While a conclusive connection between leadership beliefs and aesthetic experiences was not found, data collected provides insight into program outcomes and has produced a groundwork for further research into aesthetic experience and outdoor education, along with recommendations for outdoor experiential educators interested in promoting aesthetic experiences in their programs.

Item Type: Abstract
Created by Student or Faculty: Student
Uncontrolled Keywords: aesthetics, aesthetic experience, outdoor education, adventure education, experiential education, education, spiritual experience, flow state, awe, leadership, social justice, inclusivity, expedition, expeditionary learning
Subjects: Undergrad Research Symposium > Adventure Education
Undergrad Research Symposium > Exercise Science
Undergrad Research Symposium
Depositing User: Lionel Daniel Di Giacomo
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2015 20:34
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2015 08:48
URI: http://fortworks.fortlewis.edu/id/eprint/722


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