This study determines the effects of an 18-day Outward Bound type camping therapy intervention on ego development and the self-concept in children with developmental disorders. The camping program, which was based on movement using mountain bikes, included activities such as river trekking, canoeing, rock climbing, cave exploration, and mountain climbing and was implemented yearly over a 6-year period. The participants were 23 adolescent children with developmental disorders (males: 21, females: 2, mean age=13.43±0.84). Kajita’s Self-Actualization Scale along with the Landscape Montage Technique were used for analysis. The results showed that from the four factors of the self-concept (achievement motivation, self-effort, self-confidence, and perceived self), the camp continued to have an effect on self-effort one month after completion. In addition, although achievement motivation increased immediately after the camp, it fell significantly one month later. Perceived self, which was the highest immediately after the camp, also fell significantly one month later. No significant change was observed for self-confidence. The effect size for these four factors before and after camping therapy was larger in this study than in previous research on typically developing children. Regarding the ego development stages for the children with developmental disorders who took part in the study, the egocentric stage “composition type” accounted for the majority (14 children, 57.5%) before the intervention, indicating a low composition type. However, after going through camping therapy, the composition type of 8 of these 14 children (35%) was found to have improved. From the Landscape Montage Technique analysis, there were some cases where integration increased and sociality improved, even among children in the low stages of ego development.
The need for risk management in activities in nature is widely recognized, but it is suspicious that formal risk management methods are easily adopted, in which risks are analyzed with damage and probability matrix. In personal activities, the probability information of occurrence of damage is not sufficient, and the damage and probability are not substitutable. Even in the similar situation, the risk varies among persons or among situations, and risks rapidly change in a short period of time. In personal activities, it is necessary to treat such risks that are difficult to handle within the framework of formal risk management methods. Based on this recognition of issues, after examining decision-making theories in extreme environment, and based on researches on practical knowledge of risk management in the natural environment, we proposed a framework with the core concept such as time phase of risk management (on site or off site), risk increasing factors, controllability, and suddenness, which contributes to individual risk management in the field with high uncertainty. Its significance and limitations were also discussed.
This study examined the impact of a physical education class on university students’ self-authorship (SA) as well as the factors and process related to their SA development when Action Socialization Experience (ASE) is adopted as teaching material based on the constructivist educational approach. For this purpose, a mixed methods analysis was conducted, involving a quantitative analysis using a Japanese Self-Authorship Scale (JSAS) (Study 1) and a qualitative analysis of students’ term papers (Study 2). For this study, 113 students were divided into three groups, the ASE group and the two control groups (participating in individual ball games or artistic sports), and their SA scores were compared. The results showed that the SA scores improved significantly after the class only in the ASE group. In addition, a content analysis was conducted on the term papers submitted by 80 students in the ASE class. According to the analysis, about 90% of these students wrote about their SA development in their term papers. As for the experience that may have triggered the above results, six categories and 17 subcategories were extracted, such as “confronting the unknown challenges” “doing trial and errors for problem solving,” “building a trusting relationship with group members,” “self-understanding through interacting with others,” “generating knowledge and methods,” and “completing the challenge” indicating the process through which the students developed their SA. Their SA development was based on how they perceived their differences with others as they strived to achieve their goal through trial and error, how they recognized and fulfilled their roles, and how they acquired self-confidence through this process.
We conducted a questionnaire survey to clarify the changes in the perspective of teachers who have led nature experience activity at youth educational facilities regarding teaching (Study 1) ,using a teaching perspective scale consisting of (1) views on children, (2) views on educational guidance, and (3) views on student guidance, targeting 60 teachers with experience in conducting nature experience activity at youth education facilities (“Experience Group”) and 110 teachers without such experience. We also conducted an interview survey (Study 2) of 10 participants in the Experience Group on the process of change in teaching perspectives. Study 1 made it apparent that the Experience Group’s views on children had changed to emphasize children’s independence. In addition, through the free response questions, we found that there were changes in the Experience Group’s perceptions of children’s learning environments due to witnessing changes in the children and other staff members. Study 2 found that the teachers’ views on children and experience activities changed through their interactions with children due to the trial and error method of teaching in an environment different from the school. In summary, conducting nature experience activity at youth education facilities had a significant impact on teachers’ views on children. It also provided them an opportunity to reconsider their approach to educational guidance and student guidance.
This study aimed to clarify the factors associated with consensus building among children with developmental disabilities in a long-term adventure camp, as well as to present helpful findings for instructional use among camp counselors. For this purpose, a multi-case study of four children with developmental disabilities who participated in a long-term adventure camp was conducted. The results showed that consensus building in long-term adventure camps took three typical patterns: “conforming to a stronger opinion/making the other party conform,” “reaching a consensus together,” and “not reaching a consensus.” Further examination of the episodes categorized under “reaching a consensus together” also revealed that the process by which a group attempts reaching consensus is influenced by the three factors characterizing the long-term adventure camp: the presence of counselors, the absolute power of nature, and the power of the group. For children with developmental disabilities who have been prone to failures of consensus building in the past, having the experience of “reaching a consensus together” with their peers during a long-term camp, as well as accomplishing tasks through the exchange of opinions with others, will serve as a significant experience of success. A long-term adventure camp, in which people spend time with their peers in nature, which can at times be a challenging experience, was shown to be a place where the consensus building ability of children with developmental disabilities could be fostered, which will in turn serve to improve their ability to live harmoniously with others.