Kilimanjaro: A Case of Meaningful Adventure And Service Learning Abroad

  • Cathy Cavanaugh Microsoft Corporation, United States
  • Ewa Gajer Higher Colleges of Technology, United Arab Emirates
  • John Mayberry University of the Pacific, United States
  • Brendan O’Connor Higher Colleges of Technology, United Arab Emirates
  • Jace Hargis Chaminade University Honolulu, United States
Keywords: learning abroad, adventure learning, activity theory, meaningful learning

Abstract

This qualitative evaluation explored how female undergraduate students developed an understanding of themselves and the broader world as a result of an adventure and service learning experience in Tanzania, Africa. The project built upon theoretical frameworks regarding meaningful learning—active, constructive, intentional, and authentic—and applied activity theory as a framework for interpreting outcomes. The study included multi-faceted examination of student perceptions of the effects of the year-long experience that culminated in a ten day trip to Tanzania, including a climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Students’ reflections on the impacts of the trip focused on wanting, doing, reflecting, and relating. Thus, the experience catalyzed change in students’ understanding of the world that strongly indicates a meaningful learning experience.

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Author Biographies

Cathy Cavanaugh, Microsoft Corporation, United States

CATHY CAVANAUGH, PhD, is Director of Teaching and Learning in Worldwide Education at Microsoft. Cathy’s research and publications focus on technology-empowered teaching and learning. She has held faculty and leadership appointments in the US and the Middle East, and was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Nepal. She also directed professional development centers in the US, and was a teacher in the US and Caribbean. 

Ewa Gajer, Higher Colleges of Technology, United Arab Emirates

EWA GAJER, PhD, is a professor of education. She holds a degree in Australian literature from the University of New England in Australia. Previously, she worked with the Migrant Education Program at the Southbank Institute of TAFE in Brisbane, Australia. She has authored a bibliography: Australian Women Short Story Writers and literary reviews. She is currently teaching Intercultural Studies and Research Methods at Abu Dhabi Women’s College. 

John Mayberry, University of the Pacific, United States

JOHN MAYBERRY, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University of the Pacific. He received his B.A. in Mathematics from California State University, Fullerton in 2003 and his PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of Southern California in 2008. After completing his doctoral work, he spent two years as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor at Cornell University before starting his current position. His research interests are applying probability models and statistics in multidisciplinary collaborations including mathematical biology, education, and water polo analytics. 

Brendan O’Connor, Higher Colleges of Technology, United Arab Emirates

BRENDAN O’CONNOR, is a professor of education. He completed his B.A in International Development Studies from Saint Mary’s University in 2003 and his M. Ed in TESL/Curriculum Studies from Saint Mary’s University and Mount St. Vincent University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2009. He has taught ESL/EFL at various levels in Korea, Syria, Canada and the United Arab Emirates. At Abu Dhabi Women’s College he is currently teaching English for Academic Purposes and Global Studies courses. 

Jace Hargis, Chaminade University Honolulu, United States

JACE HARGIS, PhD, is the Associate Provost of Faculty Development, Assessment and Research and Professor at Chaminade University Honolulu. Previously, he was a College Director in the UAE; an Assistant Provost and Associate Professor at the University of the Pacific; and a Director of Faculty Development and Assistant Professor at the University of North Florida. He has authored a textbook, an anthology and published over 100 academic articles as well as offered hundreds of academic presentations. 

Published
2015-10-01
How to Cite
Cavanaugh, C., Gajer, E., Mayberry, J., O’Connor, B., & Hargis, J. (2015). Kilimanjaro: A Case of Meaningful Adventure And Service Learning Abroad. Journal of International Students, 5(4), 420-433. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v5i4.405
Section
Research Articles