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ERIC Number: ED412041
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The History of Camping Women in the Professionalization of Experiential Education.
Miranda, Wilma; Yerkes, Rita
Over 70 years ago, female leaders in organized camping, the only form of outdoor experiential education then available, shaped the meaning of professionalism and controlled organizational structures and policies. Their achievement is paradigmatic of women's professional struggles in the outdoor pursuits professions in this century. This book chapter shows how camping women acted to define the first institutional expression of what we term experiential education today. The originality of their achievement lay in uniting educational theory with a conception of associational democracy that assured them parity with men. Gender equality was to be virtually definitive of the field. The lessons they offer are still relevant to experiential educators, particularly women, since the barriers they faced have not been overcome and perennial dilemmas in professional self-definition remain urgent. Beginning in 1916 in the National Association of Directors of Girls Camps, and later in the Camp Directors Association, women came to view their work through two contradictory screens. First, they borrowed the gender-based logic of their male prep-school colleagues to craft a heroic reading of "the director"; and second, as association founders and members, they deployed this romantic image of the woman leader in service of their status in "professional" organizations. Their professional self-definition was rooted in both a communitarian feminist pedagogy and a vision of rigorous professional standards. Contains 38 references. (Author/SV)
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A