Exploring the sail training voyage as a cultural community


Ed. D ThesisStudies have demonstrated that participation on a sail training voyage, as a structured educational activity that is more than mere adventure (McCulloch et al., 2010: 661), enhances self-constructs, and inter- and intra-personal skills. Many studies have followed an outcome-based approach to measure various self-constructs at pre-, on- and/or post-voyage intervals, however, there has been limited investigation as to how these outcomes may be generated; or how they may be ‘laminated’ in participants’ personal and social development, and thereby influence skills for life and work, such as social and emotional skills and supporting educational attainment (Feinstein, 2015). The origins of modern day sail training voyages are to be found in the traditions and practices of the age of sail, representing a rich socio-cultural and historical setting for participants to explore the voyage experience. This study takes an ethnographic approach to explore a six-day sail training voyage as a ‘cultural community’, and how this concept may generate beneficial outcomes through apprenticeship and guided participation (after Rogoff, 1990; Rogoff and Angelillo, 2002). Few studies on this topic have extended their scope of interest beyond the young crew participants; this study engages with all of those who sailed on the voyage, comprising twelve 12- and 13-year old girls, two teachers, and the full-time and volunteer sea-staff (and the researcher as a participant observer). This voyage-based case study uses a range of methods, including visual methods, as pre-, on- and post-voyage research activities, complemented with a post-voyage photo elicitation activity and semi-structured interviews to construct a rich, detailed account of the study voyage

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This paper was published in Newcastle University eTheses.

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