The question of significance: Tall ship sailing and virtue development

Aaron Marshall, Peter Allison*, Jonathan Hearn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Notions of ‘personal and social development’ within experiential learning literature remain philosophically underdeveloped, often identified as something like practical wisdom or practical reasoning. Experiential learning practitioners and theorists make frequent claims regarding the ‘life-changing’ significance for participants; particularly in terms of character development. Surprisingly rare, however, is a long-range study investigating these claims. This article shares findings from a retrospective study examining perceptions of program alumni from a tall ship sailing study school with a view for personal and social development during the experience and since, understood through an Aristotelian virtue lens. Four themes emerged from data: Significance, practice, values clarification and friendships and community. Themes are examined in relation to virtue theory and implications for practice and future research explored.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Moral Education
Early online date11 Sep 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Sep 2019


  • virtue development
  • outdoor education
  • sail training
  • personal development


Dive into the research topics of 'The question of significance: Tall ship sailing and virtue development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this