Defining Adventure Education Essay

Defining Adventure Education Essay

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Growing up, I knew adventure education to be about practical skills and recreation. It was a way of keeping youth active and engaged. More recently, however, I’ve come to learn more about the history and philosophies of adventure education and so my idea of the concept has changed dramatically as I have also lived and learned much since the days of my youth. I define adventure education as one word: integration. Integration encompasses both personal growth and development of morals and an understanding of nature and the environment on a deeper level. I chose to define it in the context of what I believe to be the most important aspects of adventure education.
The reason for highlighting these specific aspects concerning adventure education are for reasons as simple as common sense. However, in Western society common sense has gone the way of the dodo. In fact, the dodo is a perfect example to begin with. The dodo was a bird that lived on the island of Mauritius before the Dutch hunted them all to extinction within 80 years of the bird’s discovery. Such is the story of human impact on the planet in one sentence. Without an understanding of the environment our first inclination is to plunder all resources for personal gain, whether that gain is science, exploration, survival, or even entertainment.
Some decisions we make, and the resulting actions we could take, have a higher moral value than others. Rather than teaching a particular set of values, we would be better serving our participants if we helped them understand the process of making reasonable moral decisions . . . We may not all agree on the philosophic orientation used to determine just and unjust acts, but we should agree that some system will probably be better than...

... middle of paper ...

... moral standard. If we can maintain a relationship with nature, then maybe we’ll shed our hardened egos that society has tempered, and maybe then we will finally know love and compassion at our core.

Works Cited

Cole, D., Hampton, B. (2003). Nols: soft paths (3rd ed.). Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books.
Fox, R. (1999). Enhancing spiritual experience in adventure programs. In J.C. Miles & S. Priest (Eds). Adventure programming. (pp.455-462). State College, PA: Venture Publishing, Inc.
Garvey, D. (1999). Outdoor adventure programming and moral development. In J.C. Miles & S. Priest (Eds). Adventure programming. (pp.133-139). State College, PA: Venture Publishing, Inc.
Garvey, D. (2002). The future of adventure education. The outdoor network.
Unsoeld, W. (1974). Proceedings from AEE: Spiritual Values in Wilderness. Estes Park, CO: Colorado Outward Bound School.

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