Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name

Individualized Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program

Department or School/College

Interdisciplinary Studies Program

Committee Co-chair

David R. Erickson, David Aronofsky

Commitee Members

Frances L. O'Reilly, Shawn F. Clouse, Stephen Greymorning, Ryan Tolleson-Knee


adolescent development, biological adaptation, educational travel, experiential learning, middle school curriculum, nontraditional schooling


University of Montana


Educational travel forms the basis for novel learning experiences that enhance adolescent development by enabling students to make choices about their own survival in an unfamiliar setting. This biological adaptation is driven by stimulation of the midbrain which produces high levels of dopamine, the chemical associated with learning. The elements of educational travel that promote sustained adolescent learning are: clear communication, commitment and action, communal trust and respect, maturity developed through assigned responsibilities and exposure to varied life circumstances, flexibility, and transition back to traditional school environments.



© Copyright 2009 Ann Saitow