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Outdoor Experiential Leadership
By: Dr. Pete Allison and Dr. Tom Smith

Outdoor Experiential Leadership

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Part Number: 9781427607461
  • Outdoor Experiential Leadership:Scenarios describing incidents, dilemmas, and opportunities in leadership
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  • 3 - 5
  • $36.00
  • 6 - 10
  • $34.00
  • 11+
  • $32.00

Leadership involves many value-based decisions.  It is important for leaders to recognize how their personal values and ethics contribute to conflicts and dilemmas.

"The perplexing problem and critical incidents faced by experiential education leaders often have roots in confusing and conflicting values and ethical orientations.

Sometimes that confusion and conflict is within the leader, sometimes it is between two leaders, sometimes it is between the leader and the group, and sometimes it is between various members in the group. Good leadership requires knowing and understanding one's personal values and ethics, and knowing how personal values and ethical orientations of interacting people can impact (positively or negatively) shared experiences.

This book is about the complex value-based decisions, dilemmas, critical incidents, and interaction problems that experiential education leaders face. The book presents descriptive scenarios of incidents of situations based on reports from leaders in the field. Each scenario ends with the leader involved experiencing confusions, dilemmas, value-conflicts, and perplexities about what to do. For most of the situations, there is no "right" answer, and leaders will have to use their best judgment to make the call. There are rarely simple answers to the dilemmas that leaders face in the field; this is both the curse and the joy of working in experiential education. Perhaps that is what leadership is all about - reflecting on personal and professional knowledge and values, and then deciding on appropriate action."  (ISBN: 1-4276-0746-X)

Chapter Titles:

  • The Knife
  • In The Dark
  • Hidden Feelings
  • Ivan The Loner
  • New Girl
  • Awesome Solo
  • The Bear Facts
  • Personality Problems
  • Power Tower
  • Weed In The Woods
  • Moody Blues

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"An excellent teaching tool, whether in traditional educational settings, outdoor education centers, or other places where outdoor professionals gather and think about the unique situations that arise in their professional lives." (Dr. Jasper S. Hunt)


"It has long been recognized that the primary factor effecting the success and safety of adventurous activities, across a wide range of variations, is the competence of the leaders in charge. But competence is more than the ability to tie knots or navigate accurately: Human Factors have always been at the core. This book, perhaps uniquely, addresses this aspect with a pragmatic and interactive approach geared to the needs of the novice and developing leader, rather than being yet another academic treatise on the subject of leadership." (Marcus Bailie Head of Inspection, Adventure Activities Licensing Authority United Kingdom)

Authors:  Dr. Pete Allison and Dr. Tom Smith


Dr. Pete Allison teaches at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and is responsible for the Master s and Ph.D. students in Outdoor and Experiential Education. He has a Ph.D. in moral philosophy and outdoor education, and has been involved in outdoor and experiential education throughout his professional life. Pete s research interests are in moral and ethical issues, wilderness, epistemology and the construction of knowledge in different fields. He is founder and retired editor of the Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning. He also serves on the Journal Advisory Committee for the Journal of Experiential Education, and as a reviewer for two other journals Australian Journal of Outdoor Education and Leisure Studies.


Dr. Tom Smith is a psychologist, experiential educator, and facilitator of personal growth and learning. He has Master s Degrees in Psychology and Philosophy, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Wisconsin, where he studied with Carl Rogers. His professional career began over 50 years ago, and through the years, he has taught University, directed community mental health and youth outreach programs, worked as a school psychologist in special education, directed a summer camp for behavior disordered children, and had a private practice in individual and family therapy. He was one of the first to consider himself as an Outdoor Therapist, and adopted a personal / professional mantra in the 1960 s: There is a Wilderness Beyond...and There is a Wilderness Within... .

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