ERIC Number: ED408440
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Life Mission and Adult Learning. An Exploratory Study Examining Theoretical Relationships and Their Impact upon Adult Education.
A study investigated the relationships between adult learning theory and the question "Why am I?" or life mission. Three sets of interviews were conducted, each involving a comprehensive interview with each of five people who had made a significant contribution to society over their individual lifetimes. The first set elicited information about the development of individual life mission, the second developed an understanding of the relationship between life mission and learning, and the third was used to validate, revise, and enrich conclusions proposed about theoretical relationships. Personal journals were also kept and analyzed. Influences upon life mission development could be categorized as having socially constructed, biological, or spiritual origins. Several connections between life mission and adult learning were identified. The stronger and more focused a person's life mission, the stronger and more focused was the learner's self-direction. The learning process could cause adults to revise or to reinforce their mission. Life mission sat at the center of a person's life. Implications for adult education were as follows: educators should demonstrate the relevance of the material to the learner; the environment should facilitate transformative learning; the teacher should develop his/her own mission; and resonance should be found between the learner's and the community's missions. (Contains 94 references.) (YLB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, March 1997).