A Portrait of Social and Emotional Learning Within Sequoia National Park


  • Paul T. Stuhr California State University San Marcos
  • Hugo Lecomte California State University San Marcos
  • Sue Sutherland The Ohio State University




social and emotional learning, adventure-based learning, psychosocial equilibrium, campus outdoor recreation


Outdoor adventure–based experiences allow students to engage in physical activities and process learning tasks within a novel, open environment that is unlike any classroom. Past outdoor adventure–based research has indicated two primary participant outcomes: intrapersonal and interpersonal relationship skills or IIRS (Moore & Russell, 2002). The body of literature involving the promising outcomes from outdoor adventure–based experiences designed for college students is growing (Bailey & Kang, 2015; Frauman & Waryold, 2009; Lien & Goldenberg, 2012; Rude, Bobilya, & Bell, 2017; Vlamis, Bell, & Gass, 2011; Wolfe & Kay, 2011). One noticeable gap in the adventure-based literature is research on participants’ lived experience through a conceptual lens of social and emotional learning (SEL). The purpose of this study was to explore college students’ perceptions of their SEL competencies based on a 3-day adventure-based experience to Sequoia National Park. The participants experienced and expressed in a short time frame in the adventure setting the SEL core competencies of relationship skills and social awareness. The findings are encouraging, suggesting that the adventure-based experience to Sequoia National Park provided the participants an opportunity to develop SEL that involved the themes of friendship and mindfulness.Subscribe to JOREL





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