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ERIC Number: EJ853323
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Aug
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1053-8259
Rethinking Experience: What Do We Mean by This Word "Experience"?
Fox, Karen
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.
Association for Experiential Education. 3775 Iris Avenue Suite 4, Boulder, CO 80301. Tel: 866-522-8337; Fax: 303-440-9581; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A