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ERIC Number: ED533529
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 271
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1248-8618-3
Beneath the Surface: A Narrative Inquiry into Educational and Cultural Experiences of Kenyan Adult Women Learners in U.S.A. Universities
Gatua, Mary Wairimu
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Wyoming
This qualitative study examines educational and socio-cultural experiences of seven Kenyan women pursuing higher education in the United States. The study uses in depth interviews to explore the participants' socio-cultural experiences, how they negotiate their multiple identities, and their transformative learning experiences. Three theoretical frameworks guide the methodology and analysis of the data: socio-cultural theory of learning, transformative theory and feminist pedagogy perspective. I assume that the participants' educational and socio-cultural experiences are shaped by social, cultural, and economic influences and that those experiences are modified throughout their lives. Socio-cultural theory asserts that learning and knowledge are intertwined with the context within which they occur. It extends beyond physical location to include individual, cultural, social, institutional and historical locations. Transformative learning claims that when individuals change their frames of reference by critically reflecting on their assumptions and beliefs; that bring about new ways of defining their worlds. Transformative learning is also understood as the process of using a prior interpretation to construe a new or a revised interpretation of the meaning of one's experience in order to guide future actions. The Feminist pedagogy perspective contends that dialogue and developing meaning from experience are the central element to the perspective. It assists in documenting the ways in which females' educational experience is shaped by culture and by institutions that disadvantage females by silencing their voices. The three theories guide the discussion of the contradicting messages about women's lived experiences as they negotiate, confront their multiple identities, and make meaning out of their learning experiences. The narrative inquiry methodology provides an in depth understanding of the participants' experiences and perspectives and the stories that give meaning to their learning journeys. Studying the stories and lives of these women has the potential to give voice to the voiceless and increase our knowledge about Kenyan and African women in general. In addition, the findings will be of interest to adult educators and postsecondary faculty by offering guidance as they work towards improving the academic experience for diverse students in their classrooms. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kenya; United States