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As a Carsey Faculty Fellow, Jayson's research focuses on the ways experiential learning is socially, culturally, and institutionally organized. He is especially interested in the design of institutional supports for youth learning and development, especially when they connect youth to substantive areas of social concern, maximize their opportunities to contribute, and open new pathways for individual development. His recent empirical research has dealt with how youth learn about 'diversity' in non-formal settings, and he is presently studying student engagement in "Learning Expeditions," which are school-based curricular units that involve youth in solving meaningful community problems while addressing academic standards. His projects also include examining how the key twentieth century educators John Dewey and Kurt Hahn conceived of 'experience' as they advanced their intellectual and practical goals. His broader interests include curriculum theory and design, motivation, and engagement in learning activities, social practice theories, linguistic ethnography, and qualitative research methods.
Jayson has worked with experiential education at multiple levels in public and private education - as a classroom teacher, trip leader, district-level program administrator, curriculum writer, and state and federal grants manager. He implemented and has helped other teachers implement adventure education, environmental education, place-based education, and service learning programs in K-12 schools since 1994. He stays professionally active in the areas of challenge course training and whitewater paddling. He also maintains his English teaching certification at the secondary level. Jayson received his PhD in education from the University of New Hampshire in 2006. He holds a master's degree in kinesiology from the University of New Hampshire (1999) and a BS in secondary education English teaching from New England College (1994).
Jayson lives with his wife, Kim, in Durham, New Hampshire, and his daughters Eliza, Carrigan, and Moriah. His recreational interests include cleaning up after small children, and when possible, whitewater kayaking and canoeing, hiking, and telemark skiing.