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Reflexion in handlungs- und erfahrungsorientierten Lern- und Entwicklungsmodellen - State of the Art und empirische Befunde im Feld der Integrativen Outdoor-Aktivitäten®

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Outdoor activities in the field of pedagogy, counselling and (psycho)therapy are mainly based on experiential and action-oriented learning concepts. In the process of learning and development of individuals, teams and groups, reflection is crucial. Hardly any empirical studies provide evidence how the setting of the reflection impacts the process and the outcomes. The research questions are: (1) Of what relevance is the process of reflection in current experiential and action-oriented theoretical concepts and models? (2) How does the setting of the reflection impact the process and outcomes of the reflection? A comprehensive state of the art literature review makes evident, that reflection in experiential outdoor activities is meanwhile taken for granted within the theoretical models and concepts. The present quasi-experimental study (n=75) is testing for 30 hypotheses on how the setting (reflection in pairs versus alone) impacts the reflection process and its outcomes. Bi- and multivariate findings point out, that the setting mainly impacts the process rather than the outcomes. Reflection questions are of greater importance in single settings than in settings of pairs. In contrast, reflecting in pairs broadens the addressed content and increases the level of emotional activation. Gender and health status are the main predictors of the outcome. Findings testing for the moderator effect of self-reflection and insights lead to the following conclusion: Individuals scoring higher on the insight subscale (SRIS-IN) gain less new insights through the reflection in pairs. Therefore, trainers should try to gather the participants’ ability to self-reflect and their prior experience, to better adapt, design and facilitate the process of learning and reflection. The question, whether health status impacts the learning outcome in experiential outdoor settings more than in solely cognitive indoor settings, should be investigated in future studies.
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