“Meaningful Education” and the Search for Life-Meaning in Consumerist Culture: An Exploration and a Curriculum
This thesis has six sections:
Part One -- The Problem: The human struggle for meaning, inherent and "our human mission," can be construed as negative when obscured by factors such as the profit-driven emphasis of a consumerist society and its lack of culturally-sanctioned rites of passage.
Part Two -- Possible Solutions: Programs like Rachael Kessler's "Soulful Education" and Alcoholics Anonymous provide models that help people to better navigate “the journey of life” and search for their "real selves."
Part Three -- Definitions: The unending struggle for meaning is not inherently negative, but part of the "tendult" human condition and "never-ending journey of life."
Part Four -- Change and Implementation: Suggestions for how to manage change and implement the curriculum described in section six, “Learning with Soul.”
Part Five -- Statement of Purpose: The curriculum's statement of purpose, further concepts, and thesis conclusion.
Part Six – “Learning with Soul": This section offers a national-standards-correlated "soulful education" program to be used at any grade level or by any individual or group seeking a more authentic life-path.
To Mom and Dad, Brian, Angie, and Madeline
To Dr. Jyotsna Sanzgiri, Dr. Gary Tombleson, and Neeli Cherkovski
Note: Many of the footnotes in this thesis are intentionally reflective and personal, in contrast to the thesis itself. I did this at the behest of my advisor, Dr. Jyotsna Sanzgiri, who urged me to "research" -- that is, explore -- my "real" self concomitant with the traditional research process. Although this type of footnoting made me quite uncomfortable, I've left it here because who knows: maybe someone will relate.