The water of life: creative non-fiction and lived experience on an interdisciplinary canoe journey on Scotland's River Spey

P. Higgins, B. Wattchow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper focuses on an educational encounter between staff, students and the River Spey, Scotland in September 2009. The themes of water and embodied and culturally constructed ways of knowing the river were used to inform a creative non-fiction narrative that was drafted during and shortly after the journey, and was later refined. Textual descriptions of both significant and seemingly mundane aspects of the experience were built up through observation, discussion and reflection upon actual events as the authors 'sought a solution' to writing a narrative-based representation of the experience. This process endeavours to represent an 'insider's' view of the experience through descriptions that strive to portray the 'meaning, structure and essence of the lived experience[s]' for a particular group of people at a particular moment in time. We propose that this kind of storytelling has the potential to represent important elements of outdoor educational experiences and the places where they occur that would be difficult to relay in other forms of research writing. The paper is presented in three parts: setting the scene; the textual representation of the Spey descent programme; and participants' evaluations and summary.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-35
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2013

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