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In the Rearview Mirror: Personal Reflections in Environmental Gerontology

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The chapter outlines the relevance and value of professional autobiographical reflections by pioneers and senior scholars for a richer and grounded understanding of theories and substantive scholarship in the field of Environmental Gerontology. We argue that critical self-reflection would reveal a better insight into these individual professional contributions to the field and personal career paths, as well as the professional paths not taken and potential shortcomings in one's intellectual contributions, and missed opportunities. As we appreciate the key scientific contributions of the notable scholars in these chapters, we also recognize the "humanistic" nature of the process that worked behind the outcomes. Salient issues and topics from the chapters are presented to highlight the significance of each contribution, as well as brief summative commentaries on the state-of-the-art in the categories of conceptual developments, and substantive understanding in the areas of home and neighborhood, and care environments. Finally, three broader emergent issues are identified for consideration, which include issues of the unpredictable nature of career paths, diversity in research methodologies, and the importance of mentoring. This volume has brought to the surface the personal stories behind the scholarship in this field. We hope that it will inspire early career researchers to learn from the self-reflections; particularly the focus, persistence, determination, mentorship, peer-support, and commitment that are clearly evident in the veteran scholars' professional journeys.
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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: January 1, 2018

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