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A Portrait of Social and Emotional Learning Within Sequoia National Park

Paul T. Stuhr, Hugo Lecomte, Sue Sutherland

Abstract


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.

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Keywords


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

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18666/JOREL-2017-V9-I4-8128

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