ERIC Number: EJ796288
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Reference Count: 23
A Personal Reflection on Educating for Meaning
Nash, Robert J.
About Campus, v13 n2 p17-24 May-Jun 2008
The major premise of this article is inspired by Viktor Frankl's words: "The truth is that as the struggle for survival has subsided, the question has emerged--survival for what? Ever more people today have the "means" to live, but no "meaning" to live for." Thousands of students who have come through the author's college courses during the last four decades suffer, in some ways, from what he calls "a crisis of meaning." Some students experience the crisis as a clash of conflicting meanings. Others confront it as a surfeit of seductive, albeit risky meanings. Still others contend with an utter vacuum of meaning in their lives. To compensate for the crisis of meaning in the early twenty-first century, the author finds that a growing number of college students are looking to external sources for their sense of worth. Educating for meaning entails a "constructivist" approach to education which applies the belief that students construct meaning for themselves. Teachers are charged with helping their students, their colleagues, and themselves find meaning in their lives. In this article, the author offers his personal reflection on how best to accomplish this responsibility. He presents a personal reflection on what he thinks are the three major constructivist ingredients of teaching for meaning: (1) passion; (2) story; and (3) conversation.
Descriptors: Constructivism (Learning), College Students, Self Concept, Self Evaluation (Individuals), Personal Narratives, Self Efficacy, Reflective Teaching, Teaching Methods, Teacher Effectiveness, Student Attitudes, Educational Strategies
Jossey Bass. Available from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/browse/?type=JOURNAL
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A