Research in Outdoor Education




There has been repeated encouragement in the literature for researchers to examine the various mechanisms that make up group experiences in outdoor education contexts. As a result, positive sense of community is often one of the implicit or explicit goals of programs and organizations that utilize outdoor settings to deliver educational and/or therapeutic programs. The purpose of this study was to understand how participants understand and experience sense of community formation during participation on outdoor education curricula (OEC) programs. Qualitative data, in the form of 124 participant trip journals, were analyzed and revealed two core themes illuminating sense of community structure and process. Implications for theory, research, and practice are discussed.