Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Education, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

Date of Defense

12-18-2015

Graduate Advisor

E. Paulette Isaac-Savage, EdD.

Committee

Thomas Vojta

John A. Henschke

Paul J. Wilmarth

Abstract

Human beings have spent much time and effort in trying to understand themselves, others, and their world. Mankind uses intellect when trying to understand life but the majority of people continue to encounter frustration, confusion, and a variety of obstacles when dealing with daily challenges and people. Theorists and researchers understand that successful existence requires more than mere knowledge; it requires a level of understanding, a form of wisdom foreign to the bulk of the populace. The missing ingredient for this kind of wisdom is the ability to ‘know thyself,’ which is the beginning of establishing a higher level of emotional maturity. This qualitative study focused on the transformational learning process of the adult learner, aged 50 and older. In studying the learning processes, an online survey was implemented and then Partridge's (1985, 2014) Maturity Reasoning Index Program (MRIP) was used as a psycho-educational program and administered after the participants answered five vignettes regarding current perspectives of five areas of their logic reasoning. After completing the MRIP, participants answered five additional vignettes regarding similar areas of reasoning. This study investigated participants’ transformational learning experiences as they developed a higher level of emotional maturity compared to previous reported emotional maturity findings. A group of 32 volunteers, recruited from a university listserv and networking among family and friends, spent several months completing the online study. The study included an initial four-part survey, a brief pre-test survey, an extensive psycho-educational program, and a brief post-test. At the end of the study, 23 participants completed the study. Findings indicate an increase in using a higher level of logic of reasoning or potential transformation after completing the psycho-educational program. Additional research is recommended in the area of emotional maturation, life satisfaction, wisdom, and trust-of-self for adult learners aged 50 and older.

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