ERIC Number: ED438762
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
The Search for Meaning in Young Adulthood: Implications for Educational Practice. ASHE Annual Meeting Paper.
Baxter Magolda, Marcia B.
These narrative accounts follow a group of young adults searching for meaning during the ten years after their college graduation, and offer insights into how higher education might create conditions for this search to occur during college. This longitudinal study is based on interviews with 39 participants at various points during their undergraduate, graduate, and/or early working years for a 13-year period beginning in 1986 when they entered college. All participants were traditional-age students attending state institutions with a liberal arts focus. The primary focus of the college phase of the study was on epistemology, or students' assumptions about the limits, certainty, and criteria for knowing. Phase 2 of the research explored development after college. Sections of the paper examine the implications for educational practice of holistic education and the developmental dimensions of the search for meaning. Interview data inform discussions of complexities encountered in the search for meaning; realization of the need to search for meaning; construction of internal authority and meaning; and solidifying internal meaning-making. Interview responses were analyzed using grounded theory methodology. A final section discusses the creation of educational contexts for internal meaning-making. (Contains 21 references.) (CH)
Descriptors: Adult Development, Adult Learning, Change, Cognitive Development, Concept Formation, Developmental Stages, Educational Environment, Educational Objectives, Epistemology, Higher Education, Holistic Approach, Individual Development, Learning, Narration, Outcomes of Education, Role of Education
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A