Meaning-making, in all its various aspects, is not only a prime motivating force in human life but also in teaching and learning. We search for personal meanings in our life experiences, which enables us to develop inner capabilities to become self-empowered, self-determining, self-regulating authors of our own life stories. In short, meaning-making expands human consciousness and MCE-MCL extends this exploratory and explanatory domain. As students become engaged in a diverse set of personally meaningful activities, they learn to assess what they learned with responsibility to self, to others, and to the local and world communities. Thus, meaning-centered education (MCE) and meaning-centered learning (MCL) is active, authorial, authentic, dialogical, and experiential in nature, and holistic and humane in process and purpose.

Modern educational scholars and practitioners seek an integrative framework that will enable researchers and practitioners to better respond to the need for renewing the fundamental aims and purposes of education in a globalized world. They seek a framework that will provide the scaffolding needed to create a learning ecosystem that enables effective and meaningful learning for all those involved in the educational process (e.g., instructors, students, staff, administrators) across all learning domains (e.g., cognitive, affective, social).

MCE is an educational philosophy and approach that facilitates the conscious integration of new learning with prior learning across all domains based on personal meanings about oneself in relation to the world. MCE aims to create an authentic learning environment that supports a self-regulating and autonomous personality who operates out of her/his own volition and strives to achieve self-fulfillment and self-determination as an indicator of his/her existential worldview (adapted from Kovbasyuk, 2010, Leontiev, 2007, Ausbell, 2000, Shuell, 1990).

Based on this research, MCL is defined as a learning theory that holds that human learning is the self-motivating and self-regulating process of creating personal meaning in one’s life-world through reflective, critical, and inquiry-based activities that occur across all learning domains. Thus, according to MCL, the learner constructs personal meaning from his/her own experiences and their relationship to prior experiences within multiple life contexts in order to continually self-evolve as a mature personality who is capable of authoring his/her own life story (Kovbasyuk & Blessinger, 2013).

MCE aims to develop appropriate and meaningful educational practices across a wide range of academic and human activities and MCL views learning as the conscious integration of knowing, acting and being in the world. Thus, in short, MCE-MCL involves integrating the epistemology of learning (what learners are expected to know and do) with the ontology of learning (what learners desire to become as students and as human beings) with the axiology of learning (what learners value most in their lives).


Ausubel, D. P. (2000). The Acquisition and retention of knowledge: a cognitive view. Dordrect; Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Kovbasyuk, O. (2010). Meaningful education as a resource of global learning. In Alagic, Rimmington, Liu, & Gibson (Eds.), Locating intercultures: educating for global collaboration (pp. 119-140). India: Macmillan Publishing.

Kovbasyuk, O, & Blessinger, P. (2013). Meaning-centered education: international perspectives and explorations in higher education. New York: Routledge Publishing.

Leontiev, D. (2007). Psychology of meaning. M: Smysl

Shuell, T. J. (1990). Phases of meaningful learning. Review of Educational Research, 60(4), 531.


Dr. Patrick Blessinger, USA, Co-Director, Senior Scholar, and Editor-in-Chief, JMCE
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Patrick Blessinger

Patrick has received several educational awards including a Fulbright Scholarship from the US Department of State and a Governor’s Teaching Fellowship from the State of Georgia, USA. His doctorate is in educational leadership and instructional design. He has taught over 180 college and university courses and has managed academic programs at colleges and universities in the US and EU. He consults with HE institutions and is the founder and principal at the Academe Group consulting firm. He is the founder and Executive Director of the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association, President of the Faculty Academy,  the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Meaning-Centered Education, and co-editor and co-author of many textbooks and articles on teaching and learning in higher education.

Dr. Olga Kovbasyuk, Russia, Co-Director, Senior Scholar, and Editor-in-Chief, EMCE
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Olga has been teaching for thirty years in various educational institutions and has managed many international academic programs and intercultural projects, as a visiting professor and as a certified intercultural trainer. Her Ph.D. concerns pedagogical support of personality upbringing. She is the founder of the Linguistic School and Global Learning Center in Russia, a member of the Executive Committee in the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association. She has over 100 publications in professional journals and a number of national and international awards, including the national medal “For Excellency in Work”, Teacher’s Excellence Award and Fulbright Scholarship from the US Department of State, and DAAD Fellowship from German Academic Council.


Journal of Meaning-Centered Education

Dr. Iddo Landau, Israel, Senior Editor
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Iddo Landau

Iddo is an Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy at Haifa University. Jan is the author of many articles and books on meaning and has served as a referre on several academic journals and presented on the topic of meaning at many conferences. Iddo served in many committees including the academic organizing committee of the international conference Moral Philosophy in Education, organized by UNESCO and The Jerusalem Spinoza Institute (August 1999) and the Israeli Science Foundation Committee for Philosophy Grants (2011-2012).

Dr. Alyssa J. O’Brien, USA, Editor
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Alyssa J. O’Brien

Alyssa J. O’Brien is a Lecturer and Coordinator of the Cross-Cultural Rhetoric Project, Stanford University, where she teaches writing, public speaking, and cross-cultural communication in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric. She also teaches graduate students in the Public Policy Program, and she has been a frequent instructor of communication courses in Stanford’s Continuing Studies Program.

Dr. María Luisa Pérez Cañado, Spain, Editor
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María Luisa Pérez Cañado

María is Associate Professor at the Department of English Philology, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Education at the University of Jáen, Spain. Her research interests are in Applied Linguistics, English for Specific Purposes, and the intercultural language teaching.

Dr. Rupert Wegerif, UK, Editor
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Rupert Wegerif

Rupert is Professor of Education and Director of Research at the Graduate School of Education in the University of Exeter in the UK. He has researched and published widely on dialogic approaches to education and is co-editor of Thinking Skills and Creativity. His latest book is Dialogic: Education for the Internet Age published in 2013 by Routledge.

JMCE Review Board

Dr. Vic Boyd, UK, Reviewer
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Vic Boyd

Vic is a Learning Technologist at Glasgow School of Art. Her research to date has included the transitional/ articulation experiences of disabled students, retention, progression and withdrawal studies, the pedagogical accessibility of learning technologies, developing digital literacies and the social construction of fluctuating or recurring impairments in UK higher education.

Dr. Gaowei Chen, USA, Reviewer
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Gaowei Chen

Gaowei CHEN is a postdoctoral researcher in the Learning Research and Development Center, University of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center (PSLC). He received a BS in information engineering, and an MS in educational technology. He received his PhD in educational psychology from The Chinese University of Hong Kong. His current research focuses on the interactions among teachers and students in classroom and online environments. By applying statistical and machine learning methods to the study of online and classroom discussions, he examines how teacher-student and student-student interactions help produce strong effects on learning. His articles appear in journals such as Computers & Education and Computers in Human Behavior.

Dr. Jan Deckers, UK, Reviewer
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Jan Deckers

Jan is a Lecturer in Health Care Ethics at Newcastle University and a member of the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH). At Newcastle University, Jan is the theme leader for ethics of the recently established Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability (NIReS). He is also a deputy coordinator of the Justice and Governance Theme and Associate Editor of the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry.

Dr. Gina Rae Foster, USA, Reviewer
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Gina Rae Foster

Gina is Director at Lehman College Teaching & Learning Commons and a Lecturer in Health Care. Her specialties include: non-profit project management and consultation, grant writing and administration, community resiliency, facilitation and facilitation training, project management training, faculty development, freelance editing, independent publishing, curriculum development, ontological ethics, aesthetics, creative writing, poetry, mentoring, strategic planning.

Dr. David Giles, Australia, Reviewer
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David Giles

David is Dean, School of Education at Flinders University. David has a particular interest in hermeneutic phenomenology and appreciative inquiry research methodologies as vehicles for exploring the experiential, relational & phenomenological nature of education and educational leadership.

Dr. Kim Johnson Hyatt, USA, Reviewer
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Kim Johnson Hyatt

Kim is Associate Teaching Professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College. She teaches Strategic Writing for the School of Information Systems & Management and Strategic Presentation Skills for the School of Public Policy & Management.

Dr. Kathy Jackson, USA, Reviewer
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Kathy Jackson

Kathy is Senior Research Associate and Instructional Consultant, Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellenc, Penn State University. Dr. Jackson holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Instructional Technology from The University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Janice Kathleen Jones, Australia, Reviewer
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Janice Kathleen Jones

Janice is a Senior Lecturer in Arts Education and a member of the Capacity-Building Research Network at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. With 30 years’ international experience in education for creativity and social justice, Janice is peer-acknowledged as a thought-leader in heutagogy through the arts, literacies and emerging technologies. A Churchill Fellow, Janice’s research and publications bring a futures focus to personal, social and professional transformation through creativity, reflection and community. A lead-facilitator of the Asset Based Community Development (South East Asia) web community, Janice is a member of the Virtual Worlds Working Group (Australia).

Dr. Alla Kourova, USA, Reviewer
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Alla Kourova

Alla is Assistant Professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literature at University of Central Florida. Her research interest includes the impact of Russian cultural awareness on the acquisition of Russian language in American higher education.

Dr. Virginia Lee, USA, Reviewer
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Virginia Lee

Virginia is principal and senior consultant of Virginia S. Lee & Associates. She is Former President (2007-2010) of the Professional and Organizational Network. She was selected as a Fulbright Specialist in 2010 for a five year term. She served as Associate Director, Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, North Carolina State University, and Director, Graduate Student Teaching Programs, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. She is on the editorial review boards of Innovative Higher Education, The Journal of Faculty Development, and To Improve the Academy.

Dr. Gavin Melles, Australia, Reviewer
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Gavin Melles

Gavin is Academic Director International and Pathways at Swinburne University of Technology. HE has a background in anthropological linguistics and is fluent in several languages (English, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Hebrew). He has been a visiting professor and researcher in Germany, Switzerland, and Sweden.

Dr. Natasha Moscvina, Russia, Reviewer
Natasha Moscvina

Natasha is Professor of Pedagogy at Far Easten State University of Hummanities (Khabarovsk). Her primary resurch interest is the psychological and pedagogical approaches to the professional development of teachers and reducing the risk of their professional distortions. She is the Chief of the Department of Innovation Development of the University. Her department manages the implementation of the international project of preparation for social psychologists to help migrants in their adaptation.

Dr. Alina Slapac, USA, Reviewer
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Alina Slapac

Alina is an Assistant Professor, International Studies Fellow, and the Counselor of Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Dr. Slapac’s research interests have developed interdisciplinary through qualitative research methods, in particular cultural perspectives and culturally responsive pedagogy/classroom management in the areas of teacher preparation, curriculum and instruction, and international/intercultural education. She currently teaches graduate action research and undergraduate classroom management courses. Address correspondence to Alina Slapac, Assistant Professor, Division of Teaching and Learning, University of Missouri–St. Louis, St. Louis, MO.

Dr. Luísa Soares, Portugal, Reviewer
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Luísa Soares

Luísa is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at University of Madeira, Center of Arts and Humanties. She lectures in the fields of Cognitive Psychology and Clinical Psychology and has a degree in psychology from Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação of University of Porto and a doctorate from the Universitat Ramon Llull, Spain.

Dr. Thanikachalam Vedhathiri, India, Reviewer
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Thanikachalam Vedhathiri

Thanikachalam is an executive consultant in technical education and globalization engineering education, and human resource development,researcher in technical education and human resource development.  Faculty development in accreditation, institutional transformation and creating centers of excellence, strategic planning formation of consortium, networking with the global universities,industry relevant curriculum design,instructional materials development,instructional media (video programs). Technical education research in institutional development,educational administration,leadership development.

Encyclopedia of Meaning-Centered Education

EMCE Editorial Board

Dr. Peter C. Taylor, Australia, Editor
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Peter C. Taylor

Peter is Associate Professor of Transformative Education at Curtin University’s Science and Mathematics Education, a graduate centre for professional development of teachers in Perth, Western Australia. His research focuses on teaching for transformative learning, cultural contextualisation of curricula, especially for indigenous learners, and education for sustainable development.

Dr. Anton Tolman, USA, Editor
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Anton Tolman

Anton is a clinical and forensic psychologist who graduated from the University of Oregon. He is currently Associate Professor of Behavioral Science at Utah Valley University and serves as the Director of the Faculty Center for Teaching Excellence. Apart from his publications in clinical and forensic areas, Anton is acutely interested in power dynamics in the classroom and the development of both faculty and student metacognitive skills to enhance student learning and the creation of personal meaning. He has developed sets of metacognitive scales for assessing student readiness to become more effective learners and for faculty development and has developed an Integrated Model of Student Resistance to active learning. He is a frequent presenter at national and regional teaching and learning conferences on these topics.