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Adult learning as a hero's journey: Researching mythic structure as a model for transformational change
journal contributionposted on 04.04.2022, 05:08 by Jennifer SimpsonJennifer Simpson, Phyllida CoombesPhyllida Coombes
In most accounts of research ethical dilemmas involve 'researcher' and 'researched' as different people. By contrast, this paper focuses on the use of mythic structure as a conceptual framework when learners conduct research into their own lives and intellectual journeys. The paper examines the role of transformational learning in the Skills for Tertiary Education Preparatory Studies (STEPS) pre-undergraduate bridging program at Central Queensland University. Joseph Campbell's (1993) stages of the timeless Hero's Journey have been adapted and used as a tool for reflection in the Language and Learning course of STEPS. We show how an understanding of both the twelve stages of the Quest and the six main archetypes present in modern Western society helps to bring about an appreciation of the transformational learning process in adult students, and assists them in the development of self-knowledge and self-awareness. In this way, critical self-reflection is of direct benefit to these learners-as-researchers.