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CAN THE MOUNTAINS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES

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'Can the Mountains Speak for Themselves? ... Rustie Baillie: 'Let the mountains speak for themselves' ... Thomas James' mountains vs. facilitation continuum? ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: CAN THE MOUNTAINS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES


1
CAN THE MOUNTAINSSPEAK FOR THEMSELVES?
James Neill University of New Hampshire, USA,
2002 James.neill_at_unh.edu
2
Outline
  • Summary of James paper
  • Mountains vs. Facilitation
  • Workshop Group Presentations
  • Take-home Points

3
Where is Your Preference?(ideal program for you
as a leaderwhere do you feel most comfortable?)
  • ---------------------Mountains

    Facilitation

4
Summary of James paper
  • Thomas James (1980) issue paper for COBS
  • Can the Mountains Speak for Themselves?
  • Distinguished between 2 basic ways of leading OE
    experiences
  • 1 Letting experience speak
  • 2 Debrief/Processing

5
---------------------Mountains
Facilitation
  • a defining tension in OE leadership
  • a dilemma that is continually in the minds of
    instructors
  • Should I let that experience go,
  • allowing participants to make their own learning,
  • or should I try to use my skills and observations
  • to facilitate participants reflection
  • and analysis of the experience?

6
Can the Mountains Speak for Themselves?Thomas
James (1980)
  • Rustie Baillie Let the mountains speak for
    themselves
  • 1960s counselling techniques introduced to
    control group processes
  • Ongoing debate about how to best facilitate OE
    groups

7
THE MOUNTAINS
8
James (1980) Mountains
  • The mountains argument suggests that if we have
  • A good course structure, e.g. Outward Bound
    Standard Course
  • Safe, professional, inspiring leadership
  • we are likely to have an impressive OE program.

9
James (1980) Mountains
  • Argues for the inherent power in nature, good
    programs, adventure activities, and human growth
    orientation, effective leadership.
  • Key elements of mountains speaking for
    themselves
  • Nature
  • Program
  • Adventure activities
  • Human growth orientation
  • Effective leadership

10
Nature
  • Nature has an inherently positive effect. Fits
    with
  • Nature philosophers
  • Mountaineers
  • Indigenous view
  • Simple OE

11
Program
  • Tried and true course structures provide good
    experiences
  • The rappel works
  • the expedition teaches
  • solo asks the questions that need to be asked
  • e.g., Outward Bound Standard Course
  • Life of action is often composed of mental
    activity of the most significant kind.

12
Adventure Activities
  • OE activities inherently demand a high degree of
    consciousness and self-scrutiny
  • Real, immediate experience
  • Action-consequence

13
Orientation to Growth
  • Learning occurs naturally
  • Allow pure experience
  • Humans move naturally towards personal growth
    (e.g., Maslow, Rogers, May, etc.)

14
Effective Leadership
  • Creates a
  • safe
  • supportive
  • challenging
  • series of adventure learning opportunities

15
FACILITATION
16
James (1980) Facilitation
  • Verbalization/reflection in addition to action
  • Dewey learning thinking about experience
  • Generalisation/transfer of learning
  • Facilitation can be subtle acts or comments which
    help guide participants to valuable
    self-reflections
  • Crucial to maintain authenticity of experience

17
James (1980) Facilitation
  • Candice Chrislip helping students to isolate a
    particular success on the course, to identify the
    process they went through, and to make this
    success available to them as a future resource.
  • Be wary of expecting too much of a program and
    perhaps we should stick with what we do best -
    leading people in extraordinary outdoor adventures

18
(No Transcript)
19
Key Questions
  • Do you accept Thomas James mountains vs.
    facilitation continuum? Perhaps there are better
    models that could better organize those concepts.
  • For example, most OErs are uncomfortable placing
    themselves at a single point on the continuum, so
    how could greater flexibility be introduced?

20
  • Take-home points
  • understand your personal orientation
  • understand the range of others orientations
  • develop flexibility in instructional style (build
    complementary skills)
  • develop expertise in preferred direction
  • participants will have their own individual
    orientations!
  • this issue forms the basis of understanding more
    recent developments of facilitation techniques in
    OE (e.g., see Gass)

21
MORE NOTES for Presenter
22
- Mountains - letting the experience speak for
itself
  • not for the leader to impose or prescribe
    private, individual learnings and experience
  • focuses responsibility on participant
  • does not endorse chuck them out there and see
    policy, since instructor sophistication is
    indicated by careful setting up of program,
    program design, activity sequence, pace of
    program, and group management
  • May suit certain clients/cultures more than other
    cultures, e.g. males? adolescents?
    intellectually challenged? taciturn cultures?
  • May not achieve maximum possible program effects
    by not employing facilitation techniques
    although it could be argued that totally
    self-derived learnings may be more powerful than
    facilitated learnings?
  • May lend itself better to achieving recreational
    type goals than higher-level therapeutic goals
  • minimalist
  • nb. culture comment in Priest Gass book

23
- Facilitation - guiding reflecting about the
experience
  • centers an emphasis on instructor-facilitation of
    participants learning and experience
  • seeks to harness power of self-reflection,
    self-analysis, expression of thoughts, sharing of
    insights, etc. to develop and lock-in new
    understandings about self and group
  • instructor must observe and guiding reflective
    facilitation processes following experiences
  • may not maximise the inherent value of nature,
    adventure and group processes
  • May suit certain clients/cultures more than other
    cultures, e.g. females? adults? intellectual?
    gregarian cultures?
  • May enhance the outcomes through this plus
    model - insights which might otherwise not have
    been achieved are likely to be created
  • May be most effectively applied to achieving
    educational and therapeutic goals may be of
    relatively less use in achieving recreational
    type goals
  • some reflection is always going to be present
    even in the purest mountains program. it is
    virtually impossible to rid oneself of constant
    analysis and reflection. (this is partly why we
    can say that human nature is oriented towards
    improving constantly improving oneself)

24
Comments Overall
  • ref James re both methods effective
  • v. limited research comparing techniques (cite
    Priest study)
  • propose DNA metaphor to solve continuum
  • draw on board
  • Hattie, J.A. (1992)
  • it does appear that the more cognitive oriented
    self-concept change programs have substantial
    effects, than the affectively oriented programs
    on self-concept (p.226)
  • We need the tension maintained to continue
    furthering the development of effectiveness in
    programming at both ends of the continuum. We
    need the tension from both ends to balance the
    product in the middle. See Sufi quote.
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