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ERIC Number: EJ1139899
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1935-7869
Linking Developmental Themes to Theories in the Autobiographical Narratives of Life-Span Development Students
Mayo, Joseph A.
Journal of Effective Teaching, v17 n1 p1-15 2017
Prior research findings point to the efficacy of using autobiographical life-story narration as a learning tool in undergraduate classes. The current study seeks to add to the existing literature on this topic by performing a qualitative analysis across events recorded in students' autobiographical narratives. The purpose of this analysis is to assess student learning of preselected developmental theories (Piaget, Schaie & Willis, and Erikson). Participants were undergraduates (N = 108) enrolled in introductory life-span development classes at a public state college in the southeastern United States. Participants composed three written assignments of a flowing narrative quality due at designated time intervals throughout the semester. The first assignment covered infancy through preschool (0-6 years); the second, the elementary school years through adolescence (7-19 years); and the third, early through late adulthood (20 years onward). In completing their assignments, participants conducted an introspective analysis of their own development (past, present, and realistic speculations about the future) in terms of applicable developmental principles. The data were analyzed for correct and incorrect links between dominant themes and corresponding developmental conceptions. Results are discussed in light of participants' content learning in the context of each preselected developmental theory. Implications for undergraduate teaching, learning, and assessment are also presented.
Journal of Effective Teaching. Center for Teaching Excellence, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403. Tel: 910-962-3034; Fax: 910-962-3427; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A