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Shan Shan Ho

Shan Shan


Shan Shan Ho

Adjunct Faculty

  • Campus:
  • Pasadena
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Academic Affairs
Pacific Oaks College
Address Map of 45 W Eureka Street Pasadena CA 91103
45 W Eureka Street
Pasadena, CA 91103

Dr. Shanshan Ho obtained her M.S. in Management of Technology and Ph.D. in Civil Education and Leadership. She has been an instructor and student adviser in higher education for 10 years. Proficiency in Experiential Learning, Adventure Education, Outdoor Education, Outdoor Leadership, and Adventure Therapy. She applied the knowledge and theory into a practical value as a Director of Student Affairs. She developed some leadership programs that involve therapeutic and wilderness-based experiences for student organizations such as leadership training and new student orientation. In which students participated in a variety of adventurous challenges and outdoor activities such as hiking, climbing, kayaking, ropes courses, and group games. Those adventures turned out to help them get to know themselves better.

Dr. Ho's research interests encompass the realms of Adventure Therapy, Adventure-Based Counseling, Therapeutic Adventure, and Experiential Learning. Experiential Learning has become the cornerstone of her teaching philosophy, enabling me to craft meaningful learning experiences for my students. This approach revolves around the use of metaphorical thinking and personal perspectives to address therapeutic or educational objectives. Her doctoral dissertation, titled "Narrative Research of Surfers' Meaning Making," delves into the profound ways in which individuals engaged in extreme sports seek personal meaning and purpose in their lives.

Dr. Ho was an international scholar honored with Taiwanese government fellowship in 2014. From the programs of Outdoor Education in the Department of Kinesiology at University of New Hampshire. During her research period in New Hampshire, she learned some experiences in leadership and teaching with a broad range of educational programs. As Shanshan continues to make strides in her field of Experiential Education, she leaves behind a legacy of academic excellence and a commitment to the pursuit of knowledge. Her story serves as an inspiration for aspiring scholars, showcasing the transformative power of passion, dedication, and the opportunities that a scholarship in the filed of Experiential Education can provide.

Education History
Degree Institution Year
Ph.D National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan 2017
M.S Murray State University, Murray, KY 2001
Community Involvement
Role Organization
Volunteer Landmark Church
Event Coordinator Sky Vision Insurance Agency
Areas of Expertise
Area Expertise
Child & Adolescent Development General Expertise
Curriculum and Program Development Professional Learning Communities
Diversity Diversity Issues
Diversity Issues
Multicultural Training
Early Childhood Education Learning through Play
Higher Education Active Learning for Adults

The use of outdoor adventure for character development, focusing on positive outcomes in effectively improving self-concept and self-esteem and well-being.

Question and Answer
Please describe your teaching philosophy.

My journey towards becoming an educator in Experiential Education commenced with my fervent passion for teaching and a desire to connect with students outdoors. In 2010, I began my career in the Department of Student Affairs, an experience that profoundly influenced my perspective. As an educator in higher education, I gained a deep appreciation for the need to offer college students alternative pedagogies and curricula beyond traditional classroom lectures. Adventure Education emerged as a powerful avenue, involving wilderness expeditions designed to challenge participants, push their perceived limits, and foster a heightened sense of self. This educational approach primarily unfolds in natural settings, engaging participants kinesthetically on cognitive, affective, and behavioral levels. The effectiveness of Adventure Education extends to individuals, groups, and organizations.

During my seven-year-long doctoral journey, I seized several opportunities to facilitate Adventure Therapy programs, including therapeutic camps, wilderness therapy, and adventure-based therapy. My constant pursuit was to discover innovative ways to engage students, both within the classroom and the field. These adventurous programs provided an alternative learning path, amalgamating outdoor activities with facilitation, enabling students to derive invaluable insights for self-improvement. This journey allowed me to savor the wonders of the natural world while guiding individuals on their personal quests.

In 2014, I had the privilege of working as an international scholar, an honor bestowed upon me by the Taiwanese government, at the University of New Hampshire. During my tenure in the Outdoor Education Program within the Department of Kinesiology at UNH, I was captivated by the educational philosophy of John Dewey, particularly his Progressive Education principles. Dewey's philosophy recognizes the individuality of each person, shaped by genetic factors and past experiences. Consequently, teaching and curricula must accommodate these individual differences, enabling students to evolve into valued, equal, and responsible members of society. UNH also exposed me to various outdoor education programs, where I witnessed students grasp the profound impact of their learning on a broader societal scale, extending beyond mere academic achievement. Upon concluding my research program at UNH, I eagerly integrated the knowledge and experience gained from this institution into my career, spanning outdoor education, adventure programming, wilderness therapy, and other educational domains. I designed numerous outdoor leadership programs for student organizations at the colleges I have been associated with. Drawing upon my philosophical insights and practical expertise in Experiential Learning, students expanded their comprehension of the natural world and honed skills vital for academic and career success.

I recognize that students hail from diverse backgrounds, and the university experience can be simultaneously exciting, fascinating, and bewildering for some. My engagement with learners and curriculum design play pivotal roles in facilitating the learning process. I employ four key strategies: engaging students, establishing clear goals and expectations for the course and its assignments, creating collaborative opportunities, and challenging students to think critically and become independent learners.

My own cultural competency is a product of a lifetime enriched by international experiences. I embarked on my journey as an adjunct faculty member at Pacific Oaks College in 2022. Exposure to diverse students has profoundly shaped my worldview and values. To illustrate my utilization of cultural competency in Hyflex Courses (Hybrid and Flex), I prioritize student discussions in small groups, promoting diversity, equality, and inclusion. I encourage students to share personal experiences, fostering an environment where they feel comfortable expressing themselves. This student-centered approach has been met with positive feedback, with students appreciating the supportive and inclusive atmosphere I cultivate. I adapt my teaching methods in accordance with John Dewey's educational philosophy to accommodate diverse learning styles and provide avenues for students to contribute their unique perspectives to the learning process.

Title Location Date
Broad Sky off the Comfort-Zone: An Exploratory of Adventure Education Programming on Student Clubs Taipei, Taiwan 2010/10

Ho, S.S. and Hsieh, C.M. (2021). Discovering Self-Identity through Adventurous Sports-A Narrative Research of Three Surfers. Sport and Recreational Review, 9 , p69-94.

Ho, S.S. and Hsieh, C.M. (2014). Equine Assisted Psychology – An Alternative Treatment for Mental Health. Journal of Asia Association for Experiential Education, 8 , p76-88.

Ho, S.S (2012). Narrative Research of the Awareness on a Female Backpacker. International Conference on Marine Tourism and Sports Leisure Industry, ,

Curriculum Vitae
Professional Skills
Experiential Learning, Adventure Therapy, Outdoor Leadership, Adventure Education, Outdoor Education
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