Mona Alqadi PhD Defense: 'The Shadow Archetype and its Impact on College Students’ Self Efficacy'

Committee: Elly van Gelderen (chair), Mark James, Duane Roen.  ::  ABSTRACT: Attending college is like embarking on a journey of self-discovery and transformation. This journey has been studied and analyzed by many other scholars from different fields. They all unearthed a universal pattern for this journey, which became known as The Archetypal Hero’s Journey. The hero’s journey is a metaphorical framework that depicts the educational journey. Education as a heroic journey transforms students in such a way that it will invite them to re-examine their conceptual structures, as well as internalized cultural norms. While heroes make their way through their journey, they are often viewed as drawing upon different archetypes. By recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of each archetype, the Hero can consciously rely on the most beneficial attribute of this transformative journey. Despite the essential role of universal archetypes in students’ educational journey, they have been overlooked and replaced by a more functional approach in which personal development is neglected. Therefore, focusing on a functional approach to education has reduced the opportunity to educate students’ self-knowledge. Hence, the current educational system does not provide any opportunity for self-knowledge of the unconscious. It is folly to ignore hundreds of years of research, investigation, and theory describing the essential influence of the unconscious mind on human learning and development. In other words, how can we understand the tip of the iceberg while ignoring the huge amount that is underwater – the unconscious mind. Therefore, calling for a transformative educational approach in higher education has been advocated to push against the boundaries imposed by the functional approach and to help students transcend their personal boundaries. Through this journey of self-discovery and personal inquiry, the main premise of transformative education can be achieved. 

The purpose of this mixed methods study is to discover the dominant Shadow archetypes of first-year college students at a four-year state university and to explore the influence of archetypal unconscious traits on students’ self-efficacy. To investigate students’ archetypal personalities, two questionnaires: Pearson-Marr Archetypal Indicator (PMAI) and Sherer’s General Self-Efficacy Scale (SGSES), were applied. To investigate students’ perceptions on the influence of their Shadow archetypes, semi-structured online based interviews through Zoom were conducted. For the quantitative data analysis, statistical analysis was carried out using SPSS; and for the qualitative data analysis, deductive thematic analysis was used to analyze the interview protocols. It was revealed from the findings that the most active archetypes among first year college students are the Seeker, Jester, and Caregiver archetypes. The most common Shadow archetypes that are active among first year college students are the Idealist, Ruler, and the Warrior archetypes. The statistical analysis indicated that there is a linear relationship between the Shadow archetypes and students’ self-efficacy. The thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews revealed that first year college students’ academic self-efficacy is influenced by the traits of their Shadow archetypes in various ways. Some of these influences are lack of motivation, procrastination, inability to set goals, irresponsibility, and negative self-evaluation, to name a few. This research has been a critical contribution to the literature as it guides educational change initiatives targeting higher education.

This is a virtual presentation:

Sheila Luna
Friday, Apr. 15, 2022, 10 a.m.

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