Steven Simpson, PhD, is professor of Recreation Management and Therapeutic Recreation at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse. He is the former editor of the Journal of Experiential Education and has written over 50 articles on experiential education, outdoor recreation, and environmental ethics.
01. Leader Who Is Hardly Known: Self-less Teaching From the Chinese Tradition
02. The Processing Pinnacle: An Educator’s Guide to Better Processing/co-author
John Dewey believed in education, and he believed in American participatory democracy. Simpson uses personal anecdotes, Dewey’s extensive writings, and even Chinese legends to discuss Dewey’s ideas about teaching democracy, independent thinking, and a sense of community. They are as relevant today as when they were written.
The Chiji Guidebook is the official companion to the popular facilitation tool, Chiji Cards. This book is an instructional guide describing some of the different ways Chiji Cards can be used to facilitate key moments during group experiences. This guidebook gives a simple, straightforward explanation of the processing theory that coincides with the original use of Chiji Cards, and it provides a rationale for when to use one processing technique over another.
Easy to implement and conversational in tone, The Processing Pinnacle contains valuable guidance for anyone who teaches or facilitates experientially. The authors offer a theoretical approach to more effective processing, the reflective component of experience. Utilizing the metaphor of the mountain, they demonstrate how and when certain facilitator methods may elicit immediate response and make a lasting impression on the individual, encouraging reflection as a personal response to life experience.
Taoist philosophy can have deep meaning for experiential educators because of the focus on natural spontaneity and unself-conscious learning and teaching. This series of essays emphasizes personality traits that affect leadership, commonalities to experiential education programs, then the necessity of connection to the natural world. They are intentionally short and can stand alone for reference and guidance. The conclusion summarizes how the principles form a foundational philosophy for experiential education.