Thesis (Ed.D., Leadership and Counseling)--University of Idaho, June 2014 | This dissertation in practice consists of three manuscripts; two research articles and a white paper. They were generated as a result of two educational research projects examining adult learning, agency, belonging to communities, and taking learning-risks. The research projects were conducted by examining the lived-experiences of two groups; (a) public school teachers and (b) Junior and Senior undergraduates taking a software development course. The participants' willingness to take learning-risks, what agentic community learning experiences they preferred, and how they reacted when concurrently experiencing agency and belonging to a community were examined.
Implications for practice found included a suggestion for gaining a deep understanding of each adult learner's fluency in the course topics and professionalism through teacher-student interaction and continual feedback and assessment. Another implication found was the educational importance to adult learners of being able to simultaneously experience the seemingly conflicting concepts of agency and belonging to a community. These findings are reflected in the suggestions for change found in the white paper.