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ERIC Number: EJ1056352
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Mind-Body Connection on a High Wire: A Cross Disciplinary Ropes Course Experience for Graduate Students
Graham, Louise B.; Robinson, Ellyn M.
Journal of Instructional Pedagogies, v1 Sep 2009
Two classes from diverse graduate programs merged and melded for a weeklong intensive outdoor experience to learn how to be leaders for an outdoor challenge course. Physical Education graduate students and students in a Counselor Education program together participated in the Challenge Course, co-led by an Exercise Scientist and a Psychologist. The course was intended to teach the Physical Education program graduate students to lead a challenge course for school age children and the Counselor Education students were presented with an alternative mode of therapy. Additionally, the goal was to provide a venue for personal growth and for group members to learn a means to encourage freedom of action and expression of feelings. The leaders merged the two classes and then divided the whole group into two separate groups, to include members from both disciplines. The groups were reassigned daily for the first three days with attention to placing individuals with particular personality characteristics or skills with a complementary individual in that group. This was a pilot preexperimental study (one group, pretest-posttest) design exploring the outdoor experience regarding students' self perception of self expressiveness and self-discovery. The group, N = 36 graduate students with a mean age of 29.5 years rated themselves on the Group Environment Scale (subscales of self-discovery and expressiveness) prior to the outdoor experience and at the conclusion. Expressiveness post experience mean ratings (M = 54.54, SD = 7.95) were significantly higher than pre experience mean ratings (M = 46.29, SD = 8.21), t(34) = -5.16, p < 0.001. The post experience mean ratings on self-discovery (M = 52.44, SD = 8.98) were significantly higher than pre experience mean ratings (M = 47.33, SD = 9.44), t(35) = -2.82, p < 0.005. Students reflected in their journals daily, and composed both individual and group goals for the experience. Each member of the class led a group at the conclusion of the week. Participants evaluated each leader and also each participant self-evaluated as a leader and as a group participant.
Descriptors: Graduate Students, Counselor Training, Personality Traits, Pretests Posttests, Outdoor Education, Self Concept, Leadership Training, Exercise Physiology, Scientists, Therapy, Physical Education, Individual Development, Self Evaluation (Groups), Student Attitudes, Journal Writing, Reliability, Validity, Physical Education Teachers, Rating Scales
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A