WINTER CAMPS: EXPERIENTIAL ANDRAGOGY
Palacky University (CZECH REPUBLIC)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:Students are learning skills for sports and recreation in a variety of settings. This paper highlights a trip where I observed the College of Sports and Recreation (or Kineseology Fakultet) of Zagreb University during a required week of ski instruction. The goal of this trip is to teach and to test university students on basic skiing skills as well as to communicate how to teach children to ski. I evaluated this week of skiing from a perspective of lifelong education and in particular that of andragogy. In addition, this paper highlights how European Universities are utilizing these practical courses in their curriculum. I incorporated the perspective of a participant observer during this week of skiing.
I spent approximately seven days, with this group. I was with them in all of the ski locations. I was able to observe them in relaxed social situations. During the week I became more involved with several students and teachers who also spoke English. I spent most of my time with those who could speak English language. These resulted in a subjective adequacy of this research of time, place, social circumstance, language, and intimacy (uk.geocities.com/balihar, 2007).
Andragogy is the art and science of helping adults learn (Merriam and Caffarella, 1999). Art is a craft, a skill, a cunning, stressing ingenuity and subtlety in attaining ones end. Art implies creativity, a unique relationship between the student - teacher – and the class, as well as an incorporation of the stunningly beautiful natural surroundings. The artistic side of andragogy can allow for the melding of leisure and education by understanding the use of free time, the sheer fun of skiing, spontaneous humor while learning to ski, as well as enjoying a hearty meal with friends, and just sitting in the lodge watching the snow. Science implies knowledge attained through study and practice. This aspect of the ski week was evident by a specific style of ski instruction in which each instructor had been certified. All of the instructors had previous training together by professionals, and they met nightly to discuss ways to improve their class.
In this art and science of learning there will be an interest in the individual learner that incorporates unique culture and various ways of learning. The facilitator will encourage participatory activities from learners so that ones unique situation and understanding can be incorporated into the learning process. Andragogy’s informality allows the learners to be involved in their own learning experience as well as helping to set the parameters of the experience.
Keywords: Andragogy, experiential learning, winter camps