Balancing More Than Backpacks: Communitarian Ideas Applied to Educational Expeditions

By Isaak, Jerry | Australian Journal of Outdoor Education, July 2011 | Go to article overview

Balancing More Than Backpacks: Communitarian Ideas Applied to Educational Expeditions


Isaak, Jerry, Australian Journal of Outdoor Education


Introduction

Educational expeditions, particularly overseas youth expeditions, are a growing sector within the broader field of outdoor education (Allison & Von Wald, 2010). The human dimensions of educational expeditions can be complex, challenging, and critical to an expedition's success or failure. Educational expeditions often neglect adequate preparations for the interpersonal challenges while focussing on logistical or physical challenges (Potter, 1997). This paper seeks to explore ways in which interpersonal challenges frequently centre on the tension between individual liberty and social order (Beames & Stonehouse, 2007). Though no formula is likely to address every human dimension of an expedition, expedition leaders and outdoor educators could enhance their expeditions, and potentially illuminate complex interpersonal conflicts, through the introduction of a communitarian philosophical framework.

Educational expeditions within the broader context of outdoor education literature

The phenomenon of educational expeditions has a relatively long history, particularly in the United Kingdom, where they have been in practice since at least 1932 when the Public Schools Exploring Society (now called BSES Expeditions) ran their first expedition to Finland (Allison & Von Wald, 2010). Despite the long history, expeditions have received relatively little attention in formal educational research (Allison & Von Wald, 2010). Until the recent publication of Understanding Educational Expeditions, edited by Simon Beames (2010), there had been no collection of writing that brought together a range of theoretical perspectives to inform practice. Besides the numerous 'how to' expedition books and guides, much of the existing research on educational expeditions, mostly journal papers, has focused on participant experiences (Allison, 2000; Allison & Higgins, 2002; Potter, 1997; Takano, 2010) and social interactions and group experience (Beames, 2004, 2005; Beames & Atencio, 2008). The subject of group facilitation has received much greater attention within the literature of outdoor education than educational expeditions, and this literature has largely focussed on residential, facility-based or short-term (less than two weeks) educational experiences (Beames, 2010; Seaman, 2007; Stan, 2009; Thomas, 2010; Tozer, Fazey & Fazey, 2007). Beames and Stonehouse (2007) have written a brief article in Horizons about the potential benefits of utilising a communitarian framework. In a similar vein, Loynes (1998, 2002) wrote about the loss of community values and the decreased emphasis on place in many outdoor programmes. Hales (2006) sought to build upon Loynes' ideas in his exploration of how the process of individualisation led to an emphasis on self over aspects of community and place. Following the work of these authors this article seeks to add to the foundation of social theories applied to outdoor education, to further develop possible implications for practice when introducing a communitarian philosophy to educational expeditions.

The development of modern Communitarian philosophy

The tension between individual liberty and social order is as old as humanity, and is seen in the writings of the early Greek philosophers, through the influence of religious doctrine in the Middle Ages and in present day political and academic discourse (Buber, 1996; Etzioni, 1996; Nightingale, 2010; Stonehouse, Allison & Carr, 2011; Vanier, 2002). In the early 1990s a small group of academics met in Washington, D.C., to discuss this tension and to reflect upon the polarisation of the debate within American society (Etzioni, 2004, p. 3). The group expressed a concern that the expansion of individual rights, and a growing sense of entitlement, did not correspond to an equally rising sense of citizen responsibility, but in fact reflected an "explosion of rights and recession of responsibilities" (Etzioni, 1995, p.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Balancing More Than Backpacks: Communitarian Ideas Applied to Educational Expeditions
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.