Meaning making

Anthony David McKenzie

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    596 Downloads (Pure)


    This thesis addresses the question, how can university education equip students to survive and thrive in the twenty-first century? I present the argument that higher education needs, above all, to focus on the experience of human meaning making. This stance is underpinned by the following arguments. Life is a hermeneutic journey. Human meaning making may be conceptualised as the lifelong, life-wide pursuit of understanding. Growth in understanding is the realisation of an ever more complex, comprehensive and coherent sense of self in the world. Authentic professional identity is an expression of authentic personal identity. A student's journey to graduation is a journey to becoming a novice rounded, grounded practitioner' in a chosen profession, but also a journey to becoming a responsible, contributing member of society and a journey towards self-realisation. These are emergent outcomes of a university curriculum of becoming. A university curriculum of becoming is a holistic and collaborative blueprint for teaching. Professional education curricula have become fit for purpose' endeavours. If Australian universities are to enable students to realise their potential as persons and professionals it is critical that they transcend a limited fit for purpose' thinking by imagining a fit-for-greater-purpose' education. Greater purpose' points to an education that is richer in an open-ended way compared to one designed to achieve pre-determined and delimited outcomes. The very idea of curriculum is innately transformative. For individual teachers and course teaching teams, conceiving of teaching as curriculum practice becomes a design problematic, a belief to be tested, an aspiration to be realised.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • Charles Sturt University
    • Higgs, Joy, Principal Supervisor
    • Loftus, Stephen, Co-Supervisor
    • Horsfall, Debbie, Co-Supervisor
    • Simpson, Maree, Co-Supervisor
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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