ERIC Number: ED200366
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1975
Reference Count: N/A
The Development and Evaluation of the Wilderness Experience Program.
Porter, William W.
A therapeutic approach, including transactional analysis, assertiveness training, personal causation and modeling theories, was effectively incorporated into the Wilderness Experience Program (WEP) for problem youth, to meet the goal of developing an emancipated individual who could assume responsibility, develop realistic self-expectancies and trust others. A review of the literature and evaluation of the 1971 and 1972 WEP programs, which largely served economically deprived children, indicated the therapeutic potential of the wilderness; more sophisticated evaluations were needed to substantiate the reported positive outcomes. Evaluation of 124 participants in the 1973 program and 54 participants in the winter 1974 program by two paper and pencil inventories (A self-esteem measure and a behavioral rating form) indicated positive results in both programs. A control group for the 1974 program showed no consistent improvement on the measures. Furthermore, the results suggested transfer of the newly acquired problem-solving skills learned in the wilderness environment to school and home environments. It was concluded that more extensive evaluation and more sophisticated research could isolate the change associations more accurately. The development of WEP, program designs and therapeutic methods used, discussions of staff selection and training, and tables of results are included. Copies of the testing instruments and an outline of the 1973 program are appended. (AN)
Descriptors: Adventure Education, Behavior Modification, Educational Therapy, Elementary Secondary Education, Outdoor Education, Peer Relationship, Personality Measures, Problem Solving, Program Development, Program Evaluation, Self Esteem, Student Responsibility, Therapeutic Environment, Transfer of Training
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A