Cross-country Skiing: Leaning by Experiencing Nature, Culture and a New Self
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Cross-country skiing provides a unique way of interacting with Nature. While the times and the cultural environment no longer make cross-country skiing a necessity for survival in areas covered by snow in winter, many people still go cross-country skiing in forests and mountains for recreation, sport and exploration. This phenomenon implies a transformation of the functions and values of cross-country skiing. This research is inspired by skiing as a phenomenon personally observed by the author and reflected upon from the view of a newcomer to a Nordic country. While learning cross-country skiing, the goal emerged of exploring the value of cross-country skiing in modern times by autoethnographically analyzing my lived experiences of cross-country skiing. Inspired by phenomenology and narrative analysis, this research examines the researcher’s autoethnographic accounts as a skiing beginner through four specific themes: space and time, the social and cultural environment, body movements, and emotions. This approach aims to exemplify how natural environments and the unique culture and equipment of cross-country skiing came to create and enrich my experiences and knowledge of Nature, culture and self. Further inspired by the comparative methodology, this research explores values of outdoor activities within contexts of experiential learning and outdoor education by comparing the researcher’s personal experiences of cross-country skiing and published, lived experiences of water activities. By examining contextualized examples of crosscountry skiing and water activities, this research exemplifies how outdoor activities may facilitate effective, long-lasting and meaningful learning. Based on its findings, this research identifies possibilities and values for future research to explore cross-country skiing and outdoor activities in different contexts.
Masteroppgave - Norges idrettshøgskole, 2019