ERIC Number: ED354127
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Jun
The Goat Portage: Students' Stories and Learning from Canoe Trips.
This study explores how high school students learn from their experiences in an extracurricular adventure program and illustrates how students' narrative inquiries relate to experiential learning. Twelve canoe trips were studied by participant observation methods. Data were collected from recorded interviews with students and staff, field notes, film and video recordings. Observations suggest that students' stories serve five educational functions; that is, they serve: (1) to authenticate the experience; (2) to interpret the experience; (3) to call attention to relationships; (4) to transmit cultural lore; and (5) to influence outsiders. Further analysis of the stories indicated that story-telling is a natural process involving spontaneous meaning construction and reconstruction over time to account for new experiences. The paper includes examples of students' stories that illustrate the educational functions of story telling. This study suggests that stories serve important purposes in learning and teaching and that story telling occupies middle ground between the extremes of formally structured class discussions and leaving the experiences to speak for themselves. (LP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Queen's Univ., Kingston (Ontario). Faculty of Education.