Table of Contents
The Effects of an Adventure Education Pilot Study on Social Emotional Learning, Resilience, and Physical Activity among High School Students
Background: Research on the effects of adventure education lessons on social emotional skills (SEL), psychological outcomes, and physical activity (PA) is limited.
Purpose: This study assessed the effectiveness of adventure education lessons in improving high school students’ SEL competencies, resilience, and PA.
Methods: 95 10th grade students (mean age = 15 ± .56) enrolled in a 90-minute adventure education class 2–3 times a week for 15 weeks during the winter/spring semester of 2022. Questionnaires measured SEL, resilience, and PA at pre- and posttest, while open-ended questionnaires were collected at the end of the semester. Data analysis involved descriptive statistics, paired t-tests, and constant comparison techniques.
Results: Results indicated significant increases in the total SEL scale (t = −2.00, p = .050), self awareness (t = −2.07, p = .043), self-management (t = −2.67, p = .010), resilience (t = 5.69, p < .001), and vigorous PA (t = −4.13, p < .001) levels over time. Qualitative analysis revealed adventure education promotes communication, teamwork, and building transferrable skills leading to intra and interpersonal growth.
Discussion: High school students saw improvements in SEL, resilience, and physical activity after participating in a semester-long adventure education curriculum.
Translation to Health Education Practice: The adventure education is useful in improving students’ SEL skills, developing resilience, and promoting PA.
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