Thy mind, o man :an interpretive biography of Joseph Smith as an adult learner


Wightman, Gregory B.. (2008). Thy mind, o man :an interpretive biography of Joseph Smith as an adult learner. Theses and Dissertations Collection, University of Idaho Library Digital Collections.

Thy mind, o man :an interpretive biography of Joseph Smith as an adult learner
Wightman, Gregory B.
Adult education Religious education of adults
Joseph Smith, the subject under study, was born in 1805 and died a martyr's death in 1844. In his formative years, Joseph lacked formal education due to frequent moves and the need for laboring alongside his family on the farm to provide for the necessities of life. His formal education was limited to the basics of reading and writing, and some simple arithmetic. Yet, in his later years, Joseph was responsible for establishing schools in Kirtland, Ohio that focused on subjects such as theology, science, history, literature, and many languages, including English and Hebrew, with which he excelled. As an adult learner, he was known for his unquenchable thirst for knowledge and quick ability to absorb ideas. As a result of the interesting dichotomy between Joseph's pursuit of knowledge in adult life, weighed against the lack of formal education in his youth, the purpose of this interpretive biographical study was to discover, examine, and portray how Joseph Smith exemplified adult learning.;Using primary source documents for data collection, such as personal journals, histories, letters, sacred writings and sermons that contain the original thought of Joseph Smith, this study employed the interpretive biographical tradition advanced by Denzin (1989, 2001), which assumes the existence of turning points in a person's life that provide a pivotal meaning structure for later activities in that person's life. For Joseph Smith, his structure of meaning was anchored in manifestations of heavenly beings while in his youth that framed his epistemology for later learning endeavors.;Three primary themes emerged from the data concerning Joseph as an adult learner. First, Joseph often displayed an independent nature as a learner that was manifested by his determination to investigate, study, and learn to obtain mastery. However, Joseph also demonstrated attributes of dependence in his learning as he sought God during moments of solitude and then submitted to any course corrections or chastening he received. Third, as Joseph transformed as a learner, he sought to interdependently engage his learning community in what he was learning to encourage greater service in the Church, to their God, and to all mankind.
Thesis (Ph. D., Education)--University of Idaho, December 2008.
Major Professor:
Karen Wilson Scott.
Defense Date:
December 2008.
Format Original:
xiii, 205 leaves ;29 cm.

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