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ERIC Number: ED542727
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 115
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2673-3488-6
A Phenomenological Study of Students' Perceptions of Mattering at a Selected Midwestern Private Faith-Based Institution
Sumner, Karen J.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of South Dakota
Through the studies of the concept of mattering by Rosenberg and McCullough in 1981, Schlossberg in 1989, and now many others, the importance of university students to matter has been underscored. Klug's 2008 research began to shed light on the practices that help students to feel that they matter. Klug identified five themes: nurturing, recognition--the little things, student involvement, campus environment--I am not a number, and mattering is cyclical. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to complete one of Klug's suggestions for further study by replicating her study at a similarly-sized, private institution in the same state. A qualitative phenomenological approach was used to investigate the phenomenon of mattering. A criterion sampling strategy was used in selecting 16 senior students for personal interviews and data collection. Using the process of horizonalization, the data were analyzed by highlighting the significant statements and then clustering the relevant themes. The themes were used to develop descriptions of practices and experiences of the phenomenon and the mattering feelings of the students. The five themes identified by Klug (2008) related to the mattering research of Rosenberg and McCullough (1981) and Schlossberg (1989). These studies identified attention, importance, ego-extension, dependence, and appreciation as significant in the perception of mattering. In addition, the "triadic ideology" of Elliott, Kao & Grant (2004) suggested that mattering to others includes awareness, importance, and reliance. The data also supported the application and incorporation of mattering concepts and information into institutional practices. Klug suggested that by integrating mattering practices in higher education, administrators and educators may be able to aid in creating a supportive community that sustains students' learning, personal development, and sense of mattering. The benefits for the institution of practicing mattering seem straight-forward. These practices may lead to increased student retention, program improvements, enrollment growth, and increased energy and enthusiasm from administration, faculty, and staff (Schlossberg, 1989). According to Klug (2008) an understanding of the phenomenon of mattering is essential to higher education practitioners. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A