Thumbnail Image

An integral rite of passage: embedding the aesthetic in adventure education in the pursuit of wellbeing

The context for this study was the implementation of an arts integrated unit examined through the lenses of wellbeing, adventure education, children’s spirituality and aesthetic experience. The author’s personal experiences as a holistic educator, connecting theory and practice in educational settings, informed the devising of the learning experiences incorporated into this contemporary ‘Rites of Passage’, arts integrated unit. They also informed the qualitative methods selected for this research. Students reported on their own and others’ perceived state of “wholeness” and completeness of experience and the New Zealand Maori concepts of “hauora” – mental and emotional, physical, social and spiritual wellbeing were examined. Qualitative analysis of the data revealed that a holistic, integrative approach to learning was valued by the students and contributed significantly to their experience of wellbeing and wholeness. The coded data was considered in terms of a heuristic clustering of responses around the relational categories of Self, Others and the Environment. Connection, Relationship and Belonging emerged as the most important themes and, unexpectedly, Inclusion emerged as an important consideration to the participants in this study. Creative and resilience-building learning activities, as within this ‘Rites of Passage” unit and the integral “Wilderness Camp”, are supportive of the health and wellbeing of young learners. Such learning opportunities provide for intra-personal and inter-personal development, and contribute to their sense of self, place, meaning and purpose.
Type of thesis
Wagstaff, R. (2011). An integral rite of passage: embedding the aesthetic in adventure education in the pursuit of wellbeing (Thesis, Master of Education (MEd)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/5921
University of Waikato
All items in Research Commons are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.