The Breakfast Club Effect: Relationship Between Culture and Adventure throughout an Adventure Education Experience

Natalie Speranza, Thompson Rivers University

Abstract

Culture has an integral role within an adventure experience and can shape the learning process through an outdoor education program. Adventure as an educational platform has become a popular phenomenon explored and implemented by multiple organizations and educational institutes over the past century. National Outdoor Leadership School and Outward Bound are just a few examples of globally recognized programs. As adventure educational opportunities develop and globalize, cultural diversification and a need for further intercultural understanding is becoming more pertinent to the facilitation process. This study defines culture as a set of attitudes, values, goals, and practices.

The project used active research and interviews to form an autoethnographic recording of an 18 day Thompson Rivers University Adventure Studies sea kayak expedition. Implications of culture and adventure through a learning experience from a student’s perspective were explored. The intention of the research was to observe personal ontological and cultural perceptions through an educational experience, in contrast to the surrounding participants. It was found that culture influenced student’s perception of risk, nature connection, communication skills, and decision making. The expedition setting provided an adaptive learning environment that accommodate diverse cultural backgrounds. The ownership that the students had over their learning experience in conjunction with the isolated setting created a sub culture amongst the participants. This is later referred to as the “Breakfast Club Effect”, a phenomenon in which cultures are amalgamated to form a new group culture using intercultural competencies. The coaching and framework provided by the instructor on trip emphasized a strong reflective component to the learning cycle which also influenced the development of group culture.

Findings contributed to exploring outdoor recreation as a platform for developing intercultural competencies amongst university students at Thompson Rivers University. Supportive information was provided for a research project on the interculturalization of BC’s outdoors presented by the TRU AdventureU Outdoor Club at the British Columbian Center of International Educators (BCCIE) summer series in June 2017.

 
Mar 24th, 1:45 PM Mar 24th, 2:00 PM

The Breakfast Club Effect: Relationship Between Culture and Adventure throughout an Adventure Education Experience

IB 1014

Culture has an integral role within an adventure experience and can shape the learning process through an outdoor education program. Adventure as an educational platform has become a popular phenomenon explored and implemented by multiple organizations and educational institutes over the past century. National Outdoor Leadership School and Outward Bound are just a few examples of globally recognized programs. As adventure educational opportunities develop and globalize, cultural diversification and a need for further intercultural understanding is becoming more pertinent to the facilitation process. This study defines culture as a set of attitudes, values, goals, and practices.

The project used active research and interviews to form an autoethnographic recording of an 18 day Thompson Rivers University Adventure Studies sea kayak expedition. Implications of culture and adventure through a learning experience from a student’s perspective were explored. The intention of the research was to observe personal ontological and cultural perceptions through an educational experience, in contrast to the surrounding participants. It was found that culture influenced student’s perception of risk, nature connection, communication skills, and decision making. The expedition setting provided an adaptive learning environment that accommodate diverse cultural backgrounds. The ownership that the students had over their learning experience in conjunction with the isolated setting created a sub culture amongst the participants. This is later referred to as the “Breakfast Club Effect”, a phenomenon in which cultures are amalgamated to form a new group culture using intercultural competencies. The coaching and framework provided by the instructor on trip emphasized a strong reflective component to the learning cycle which also influenced the development of group culture.

Findings contributed to exploring outdoor recreation as a platform for developing intercultural competencies amongst university students at Thompson Rivers University. Supportive information was provided for a research project on the interculturalization of BC’s outdoors presented by the TRU AdventureU Outdoor Club at the British Columbian Center of International Educators (BCCIE) summer series in June 2017.