The question of significance: Tall ship sailing and virtue development

Aaron Marshall, Peter Allison, Jonathan Hearn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


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 (US)
Pages (from-to)396-414
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Moral Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Religious studies


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