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Women in Adventure Education. Presenting the Role Women of in Adventure Education Annie Seep ESS 777 December 8, 2008. Introduction: The role of Gender in Adventure Education . Adventure Education in the Physical Education Curriculum

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Women in Adventure Education

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Women in adventure education l.jpg

Women in Adventure Education

Presenting the Role Women of in Adventure Education

Annie Seep

ESS 777

December 8, 2008

Introduction the role of gender in adventure education l.jpg

Introduction: The role of Gender in Adventure Education

  • AdventureEducation in the Physical Education Curriculum

  • Adventure Education is growing in our school curriculums

  • Importance of targeting females in Adventure Education

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Gender – What role does it play?

  • What is the participation of women in Adventure Education?

  • What are the benefits/impacts of Adventure Education in women?

  • Do women perceive participation in outdoor recreation as a constraint related to their lifestyle?

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Adventure Education –a group being put in a unique or novel setting, creating a sense of disequalibrium. Teaching the group in these situations about responsibility and decision making through movement. Students are held responsible for the decisions and outcomes of that groups

  • Includes 7 stages of development

    • Acquaintance Activities

    • Ice Breakers: Dehibitizers

    • Communication Activities

    • Problem-Solving Activities

    • Trust Activities

    • Low Elements

    • High Elements

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Outdoor Education

  • Knowledge and skills associated with traveling through the natural environment without motorized transport. In addition, activities are usually non-competitive in nature. Can be on the face of a rock, under or over water, or through the air.

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Research and Results

  • Evidence shows that participation in outdoor education in the 1970’s was predominantly males; however it was reported that 41% of Outward Bound participants in 1977 were female.

  • James T. Neill presented a paper at the National Outdoor Education Conference (1997) for The Outdoor Professionals:

    • Studies suggest that traditional gender stereotypes influence the career choices of women which therefore suggest that males may focus more on technical skills or jobs in comparison to females focusing on human relations or people skills.

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Research and Results

  • Puhl, S. (2000) studied the transference and therapeutic value of wilderness related lifestyles on women and found research that showed a consistent link between leisure satisfaction and women in the outdoors.

  • This study examines the impact a wilderness experience has on feelings of self-sufficiency and self-confidence.

  • Outcomes focused on a change in perspective, connection with others, mental clarity and self-sufficiency.

  • Her research also confirmed the link of wilderness to self-esteem and assertiveness, self-control, self identification, transformation of body image, clearness of perception, and facilitating change through challenge.

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Research and Results

  • Sugerman, D. (2005) designed a study showing the impact adventure programs had on breast cancer survivors.

    • Results suggest that participation in adventure programs may enhance the connection and social support of the woman and her family members.

    • Research also shows that those women participating in the adventure program had improved their quality of life physically, psychologically, and psychosocially.

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Research and Results

  • Whittington, A. (2006) conducted a study that looked at the impact the outdoors had on adolescent aged females in a 23-day canoe expedition in the northwoods of Maine.

    • Findings proved that during the experience, the girls gained feelings of perseverance, strength, and determination inspired by the physical and mental requirements of the program.

    • The research indicates that girls of this age normally have difficulties building and maintaining relationships with other girls, but through participation in this program, each girl gained a sense of confidence and respect in interacting and developing relationships with other girls.

    • The girls learned how to survive in the outdoors without the things they previously relied on as wants rather than needs.

    • This also helped them to recognize food as a source of strength which has implications for promoting healthy eating and altering girls’ view on body image.

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The Theme……

  • Self esteem

    • Both adolescent aged and adult women found that their self esteem was increased as a result of working toward a group goal in an adventure setting. As seen on a framework within the article written by Puhl, Sarah (2000) explains how wilderness recreation can lead to transferable outcomes on women’s lives and can contribute to feelings of self-sufficiency which can build confidence in an individual. This framework clearly represents the transferable outcomes in that data collected. Outcomes focused on in this study include change in perspective, connection with others, mental clarity, as well as self-sufficiency. The outcomes were chosen because of their link to daily life. Results also confirmed the link of wilderness to self-esteem and assertiveness, self control, self-identification, transformation of body image, clearness of perception, and facilitating change through challenge. The study supports that participating in wilderness recreation may play a part in deconstructing gender roles and improving the status of women in society.

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Other themes…

  • Enhanced Self-Concept

    • The research indicates that girls of adolescent age normally have difficulties in building and maintaining relationships with other girls, and through the participation of adventure programs, adolescent girls gained a sense of confidence in interacting and developing relationships with other girls. In the research I’ve found, the girls learned how to survive in the outdoors without the things they previously thought were needs or be put into a vulnerable environment. Through this survival mode, the girls were able to focus on building relationships with each other and not on the surface things like clothes, makeup, and how much money their parents made. Experiences like adventure programming or outdoor pursuit activities allowed them to recognize food as a source of strength and to value their desire for food, rather than view eating as a desire that must be controlled. These findings have implications for promoting healthy eating and altering girls’ views on body image. While the girls learned leadership skills, they learned that these characteristics of strength, determination and perseverance are not masculine traits and with the opportunity to experience those feelings, they can now rely on the feelings they gained when they need reassurance that they can accomplish a goal.

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And Self-Awareness….

  • According to Neill, J. (1997) who wrote for the Outdoor Professionals Conference in Sydney, Australia, gender plays a greater part in outdoor education than is commonly realized. Understanding the influence of gender can provide useful insights into broader issues in outdoor education. Gender differences are observed in the focus of the outdoor education literature towards females. This bias is reflected in the overall finding that research on outdoor education program outcomes shows that higher gain scores tend to be found for females.

  • Outdoor education can no longer naively carry on thinking that optimal personal growth is being achieved for males, nor can be said that outdoor education is meeting the needs of a wide range of females.

  • Methodological explanations for the gender differences in change scores can be offered. Further, differences in males and females motivations for taking on the challenges of outdoor education may cause the differences in outcomes.

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  • Research indicates that women who participate in adventure recreation and can competently and successfully participate in outdoor experiences have a higher sense of self-sufficiency and confidence.

  • Leadership skills are developed earlier in life for women who participate in adventure or outdoor programs.

  • A sense of equality is established when presented with experiences that may lead to adventure or outdoor pursuits.

  • Feelings of accomplishment and goal attainment

  • Enhanced awareness of self in comparison to the effects of their behavior prior to an adventure experience

  • Increased perception of competence and feelings of enhanced physical capabilities

  • Impact surroundings had on their everyday lives led to feelings of timelessness, relaxation, and reflection on themselves without substances or outside threats of the world.

  • Significant impacts of not having time constraints which led to an appreciation for the unstructured and distraction –free nature.

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  • Stereotypes observed such that “male” traits are those reflecting competence and that “female” traits reflect warmth and expressiveness.

  • New design to adventure programming in which both hard and soft skills are a focus for both males and females.

  • Time spent away from family and out of the day-to-day norms.

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  • Implement Adventure Education and Outdoor activities within physical education at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.

  • Share research with colleagues, professionals in your area, administrators, parents, community members, as well as your students.

  • Continue to look at and further knowledge of research done in this area.

  • Encourage future research to be done on women in Adventure Education.

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  • Bartley, N. & Williams, D. (1988). Gender Issues in Outdoor Adventure Programming: An Outdoor Leadership Model Exploring Gender, Personality Soft Skills Training and Leadership Style of Outdoor Leaders. The Bradford Papers Annual, 3, 2-8. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED307091. Retrieved October 20, 2008 from ERIC database.

  • Caulkins, M., White, D., Russell, K. (2006). The Role of Physical Exercise in Wilderness Therapy for Troubled Adolescent Women. Journal of Experiential Education, 29(1), 18-37.

  • Chesler, N., Single, P., Mikic, B. (2003, July). On Belay- Peer-Mentoring and Adventure Education for Women Faculty in Engineering. Journal of Engineering Education, 257-262.

  • Estes, C., Ewert, A. Enhancing Mixed-Gender Programming: Considerations for Experiential Educators. Journal of Experiential Education,10-19.

  • Little, D. (2002). Women and Adventure Recreation: Reconstructing Leisure Constraints and Adventure Experiences to Negotiate Continuing Participation. Journal of Leisure Research, 34 (2) 157-177.

  • Johnson, C., Bowker, J., Cordell, H.K.,(2001). Outdoor Recreation Constraints: An Examination of Race, Gender, and Rural Dwelling. Southern Rural Sociology,17, 111-133.

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  • McDermott, L. (2004, July 1). Exploring Intersections of Physicality and Female-Only Canoeing Experiences. Leisure Studies, 23(3), 282-301.

  • Miranda, W., Yerkes, R. (1996 January 1). The History of Camping Women in the Professionalization of Experiential Education. Journal of Experiential Education, 63-77. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED412041) Retrieved October 2, 2008 from ERIC database.

  • Neill, J. (1997, January 20-24). Gender: How does it effect the outdoor education experience. National Outdoor Education Conference: The Outdoor Professionals, 183-192.

  • Puhl. S., Borrie, W., Peterson, M. (2000). Women, Wilderness, and Everyday Life: A Documentation of the Connection between Wilderness Recreation and Women’s Everyday Lives. Journal of Leisure Research, 32(4), 1415-434.

  • Sugermen, D.(2005). “I Am More Than My Cancer:” An Exploratory Examination of Adventure Programming and Cancer Survivors. Journal of Experiential Education, 28 (1), 71-83.

  • Foster-Tangen, J., Foster-Tangen, L. (1998). The Caring Capacity: A Case for Multi-Age Experiential Learning. Electronic Green Journal, 1, 3-9. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED443620) Retrieved October 2, 2008 from ERIC database.

  • Whittington, A. (2006). Challenging Girls’ Constructions of Femininity in the Outdoors. Journal of Experiential Education, 28 (3), 205-221.

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