Knowing Self Through the Journey: Graduate Students' Experiences of Self-Knowledge Development

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Abstract

This article explores graduate students' experiences of a self-knowledge development course that is framed by the Heroic Journey model. Through a consideration of several theorists' perspectives and through the voices of 13 study participants, this article examines the nature of this self-study experience and its impact on participants' lives. In light of feminist critiques of the traditional Heroic Journey model, the author pays particular attention to the experiences of women in this course. The author identifies three major findings: First, when the Heroic journey model is understood as a process and not just a theoretical construct, it gains significant power as an inclusive tool for fostering self-knowledge development. Second, self-knowledge development is not solely an individual endeavor. Self-knowledge is socially constructed through interaction with others. Third, self-knowledge development has critical spiritual dimensions, and this deeper level of knowing can lead to significant, long-lasting growth and change.

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