Identity and Lifelong Learning in Higher Education

Edited by:
Jo Ann Gammel, Adjunct Faculty, Lesley University
Sue L. Motulsky, Lesley University
Amy Rutstein-Riley, Lesley University

A volume in the series: I Am Who I Become: Constructing Identities as Lifelong Learners. Editor(s): Jo Ann Gammel, Adjunct Faculty, Lesley University. Sue L. Motulsky, Lesley University. Amy Rutstein-Riley, Lesley University. Jennifer Jefferson, Adjunct Faculty, Endicott College; Adjunct Faculty, Bentley University. Emilie Clucas Leademan, Adjunct faculty, Santa Clara University.

Volume One in the series, Identity and Lifelong Learning in Higher Education, contains chapters by and about post-secondary educators and students. Together these chapters enhance our understanding of the inextricable link between learning and identity.


"Fifty years ago, Malcolm Knowles introduced the academic world to Andragogy with his groundbreaking work on adult education. The field has grown dramatically since then, but clear, strong examples of the powerful life changing consequences of engaging in formal or informal education at any age are still needed. This volume provides rich range of examples that will be of value to both students and teachers interested in the field. As the founding director of Lesley University’s Educational Studies Doctoral Program, I wish this book had been available when we began our Ph. D. program over 30 years ago for our nontraditional doctoral students who frequently struggled as they pursued the transformative goal of obtaining an advanced degree." ~ George E. Hein, Professor Emeritus, Lesley University

"The rich variety of stories collected here, that are interspersed with qualitative research studies exploring a variety of teaching and learning experiences, provide a wealth of information and inspiration to anyone interested in understanding or improving adult learning. In this first volume of three, the author-educators examine identity, provide insights, present findings, offer new perspectives, and propose innovative pedagogy aimed at highlighting the critical connections between learning and identity. Knowing more, and applying their ideas, can only improve—if not transform—adult teaching and lifelong learning." ~ Anita J. Miller, Ed.D., University of Massachusetts Boston; Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

"This innovative series on adult development is inspiring and substantive. We hear voices from the margins and stories of courage. We read identity-formation narratives by young adults and experienced professionals who share impressive capacities for transparency, vulnerability, and self-reflection. Many of the narratives are embedded in rigorous qualitative research that highlights diverse ways that identity is shaped through social positionality, lived experience, the quest for individuation, and willingness to encounter life as a dynamic learning process." ~ Jared D. Kass, Ph.D., Lesley University, Author, A Person-Centered Approach to Psychospiritual Maturation: Mentoring Psychological Resilience and Inclusive Community in Higher Education.

"Adult learning and development scholars Gammel, Motulsky and Rutstein-Riley have constructed a journey that chronicles the impact of personal identity on lifelong learning through diverse narratives that explore identity development, awareness and respect for differences, resilience, and lifelong nurturing for adults in the process of becoming. Adult educators should expect to have their adult learning and development assumptions disrupted." Richard S. Hansen, provost emeritus, Union Institute & University.

"We all pay lip service to the importance of lifelong learning, but what is it exactly and how does it come about? The connections between identity and learning are intriguing and complex, especially when it comes to adult learners. In this very thoughtfully organized collection, researchers present qualitative and narrative studies, along with personal narratives, to explore identity development in formal and informal learning environments. Contributions from varied cultural contexts, most with powerful and moving stories to tell, provide insight into how identity, meaning-making, and adult learning and development intersect and influence each other. Psychologists, scholars and educators interested in identity development and meaning-making will find inspiration and fresh understanding in this innovative and enlightening series." ~ Ruthellen Josselson, Ph.D. Author, Paths to Fulfillment: Women’s Search for Meaning and Identity

"This fresh collection of essays and research adds to a growing body of knowledge about the intersects of context, identity and learning. It highlights the importance of understanding identity development and growth in the learning process and hence sparks the interest of all those concerned with how adults learn and facilitating it. Through a diverse range of perspectives, methodologies and theoretical frameworks on identity it inspires us to explore in greater depth the linkages and challenges of long held assumptions. Adult educators will find this a most exciting new edition, replete with powerful stories about these intersections. Few others have addressed the complexities and nuances embodied in this publication." ~ Jeanne E. Bitterman, Faculty -Teachers College, Columbia University

Me and You, You and Me: Examining Student Perception and the Evolution of Teacher Identity in the Community College, Morgan Halstead and Crystal S. Rudds. The Work of Girlhood: An Invitation to Examine Self and Identity, Amy Rutstein-Riley and Ann Mechem Ziergiebel. “One lazy day would cause everything to come crashing down”: Stories from Underrepresented Students on Becoming a University Student, Alyson King and Allyson Eamer. How Place and Class Affect Identity Development as Life Long Learners: An Examination of Resilience in First-Generation, Adult College Students from Appalachia, Deborah Thurman and Jeffrey S. Savage. “I Know There Isn’t Anything I Can’t Do:” Adult Learners Find Identity through Bachelor, Degree Completion, Jennifer Serowick. “I’ve Found My Own Identity Here!” Korean Graduate Student Mothers’ Identity Transformations in the U.S. Higher Education Context, Ji-Yeon Lee and Hyesun Cho. Learning Doesn’t Stop at 50: Lifelong Learning for Older Adults, Marian Spaid-Ross and Caren L. Sax. Lessons From A Life at School, Judith Beth Cohen. ‘I am what I do’ ... Professional voices from the field of further education and training, Anne Graham Cagney. Multi-faceted Identities of Teacher Educators as Lifelong Learners, Michal Shani, Pninat Tal and Ilana Margolin. The Professor and the Closet: Teacher Educators and Coming Out, Lesley N. Siegel. Becoming Learner-centered: A Constellation of Identity, Reflection, and Motivation, Emilie Clucas Leaderman. Reframing Resistance: Understanding White Teachers in Multicultural Education through the Course Identities Approach, Ellie Fitts Fulmer. I Know More Than I Thought I Did, Enid E. Larsen. How do you Form an Identity from Swiss Cheese? Anjali J. Forber-Pratt. At the Intersection of Identity, Disability, and Power, Xóchitl L. Méndez. Self-portrait: A Study of Value, Perspective, Space and Composition, Ann Mechem Ziergiebel. Invisible Life in the Academy: African American Women Staff in Higher Education, Kimberly D. Johnson. Thalia’s Story: A New Perspective of “Non-traditional” Undergraduate Students, Kristen Linzmeier.

  • This title is in development and is not yet available to order online. Please call the IAP office for more information: 704.752.9125
ordering information