The Meaning of Life Among Secondary School Pupils: A Theoretical Framework and Some Initial Results

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Department of Education, University of Helsinki, 1987 - Life - 81 pages
This monograph reports on an empirical survey of 394 secondary school students investigating their desire to seek the meaning of their own lives. The theoretical framework upon which the study was based is that of Viktor E. Frankl's hypotheses that a human being wants to seek the meaning in his own life. The questionnaire consisted of tests measuring pupils' concepts of their own life's purposes, significance, and meaningfulness. Questions dealt with values and attitudes toward existential questions. Pupils could also evaluate significance of school subjects in the the search for their own life's meaning. Initial results gave clear indication that students reflect quite a lot on the meaning of life, and most think that topics and questions dealing with existential questions should be addressed at school. Responses to open-ended questions on what they expected from school revealed that students asked for warmer and closer human relationships, more communication, more taking into account of individuality, more opportunity for choices, more support and encouragement, and more knowledge that has meaning for their personal life. The questionnaire is appended. (JD)

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Contents

THE SCHOOL AND THE MEANING OF LIFE
1
THE THEORETICAL FRAME OF REFERENCE FOR RESEARCHING
21
SOME INITIAL RESULTS
43

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