Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Smith, L. Glenn (Leonard Glenn), 1939-||Shimizu, Hidetada, 1960-

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


Adult education; Adult learning; Experiential learning; Learning; Psychology of


This study examines the transformational learning qualities of individuals following transcendent experiences. Using a phenomenological approach, forty archived narratives of transcendent experiences are explored to determine the qualities and processes of transformational learning for this group of adults. The qualities that most directly influence the transformational learning within the transcendent experiential framework were the person's subjective solitude, arrested explanations, complete confidence and assurance, limited public interaction, resources of books and publications, different dimensional knowing, and a solid personal recognition of the transformation. Points of convergence and divergence between transcendent transformational learning and Mezirow's theory of transformative learning are articulated. Mezirow's theory is shown to not fully explain or predict the transformative learning that follows adult transcendent experiences. In the conclusion, the field of adult education is encouraged to open the doors of education to a broader range of experiences that allow adults to learn beyond rational and cognitive dimensions of knowing.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [146-149])


xi, 145, [4] pages




Northern Illinois University

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