A Study of Nature Interpreters' Experiential Learning as it Influences Their Professional Practice

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Sader, Agnieszka
Ecotourism , Nature Interpreters , Inclusive Practice , Professional Practice , Experiential Learning , Ontario , Canada , Interpretation
Within ecotourism there is a built in assumption that tourists are the only ones who gain knowledge from an interpretive service. I sought to fill in that gap by looking at the ways the experiences of providing nature interpretation influenced interpreters’ professional practice. To accomplish this, semi-structured interviews involving 5 Ontario-based nature interpreters were conducted. Their narratives were analysed and coded using the method known as template analysis, the results of which were then used to make a comparative analysis. The results of this study indicate that there are two avenues through which nature interpreters learned from their experiences: through reflection initiated by emotions and through a realisation made from the experience. For the four participants who reported a change to their professional practice, that change came in the form of more inclusive practices being incorporated.
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