The nature of meaningful work :a heuristic study of adult educators


Paskett, Thomas J.. (2007). The nature of meaningful work :a heuristic study of adult educators. Theses and Dissertations Collection, University of Idaho Library Digital Collections.

The nature of meaningful work :a heuristic study of adult educators
Paskett, Thomas J.
Adult education teachers--Job satisfaction Meaning (Psychology)
Adult Education
The purpose of this heuristic study was to understand the nature and essence of meaningful work for adult educators and to fully understand my own experience with the phenomenon. Through criterion sampling, ten adult educators were chosen to participate in taped interviews where they reflected and shared experiences with meaningful work. The participants, both male and female, were selected from different institutions of higher education, represented different disciplines, and were at various stages of their careers.;The results of this study describe the elements of meaningful work as shared by the participants. The essence and nature of meaningful work was not unique to any one participant. Each of the experiences shared contained common elements that contributed to deriving meaning from work performed. The adult educator who finds his or her work meaningful requires autonomy for growth through creativity and learning, interactions with students and colleagues, and spiritual growth from having a sense of purpose that fosters self-respect and respect for others. Awareness and reflection on these foundational needs allows the adult educator to fully explore the essence of the experience. The participants' experiences resound with familiarity that contributes to understanding the nature of meaningful work for the adult educator. This study shows that the fundamentals of adult learning, prior learning from mentors, valued experiences, and self direction are substantiated by the experiences of the participants.;The significance of this study is the reinforcement of the motivating effect of respect, contributing to others, and participating in autonomous lifelong learning as intrinsic rewards. These findings offer insights to improve faculty development and retention in institutions of adult learning and higher education.
Thesis (Ph. D., Adult Education)--University of Idaho, November 15, 2007.
Major Professor:
Michael Kroth.
Defense Date:
November 15, 2007.
Format Original:
xiii, 241 leaves ;29 cm.

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