ERIC Number: EJ853323
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Rethinking Experience: What Do We Mean by This Word "Experience"?
Journal of Experiential Education, v31 n1 p36-54 Aug 2008
This paper uses autoethnography to reassess the concept "experience" and the lack of theoretical frameworks within experiential education for delimiting experience within the practices and research around experiential, adventure, and outdoor education. Although a pivotal and essential part of practice, theoretical understandings of experience have been missing in experiential education scholarship. Experience is clearly a complex, constructed "reality." Jagger (cited in Lauritzen, 1997, p. 83) has pointed out that an appeal to experience is "fraught with methodological difficulties." What exactly is experience? Whose experience is heard? Like other disciplines, for example the studies of religions and psychology, experiential education has no rigorous definitions, characterizations, typologies, or conceptualizations of the focus of its study and practice--a type of experience. Drawing upon critiques from Indigenous, feminist, postcolonial, and black Americans and Canadians, and integrating with an autoethnographic approach, this paper provides a critique of the existing use of "experience" and sketches an initial approach for developing theoretical understandings of the central phenomenon of experiential, adventure, and outdoor education.
Descriptors: Experience, Definitions, Experiential Learning, Adventure Education, Outdoor Education, Educational Theories, Ethnography
Association for Experiential Education. 3775 Iris Avenue Suite 4, Boulder, CO 80301. Tel: 866-522-8337; Fax: 303-440-9581; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.aee.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A