Relationships are at the core of life for all human beings. Learning is also core to our development as people. So is there a connection between relationships and learning that needs to be acknowledged and understood in the learning experience for adult educators? This study combined the use of Grounded Theory with Photo Elicitation Interviewing, and Interactive Drawing. The power of placing the camera in the hands of the participants allowed the subsequent interviews using grounded theory methodology to be driven by interviewees. The use of grounded theory allowed the emergence of potential connection between relationships and learning. The use of interactive drawing fostered the encouragement of spontaneous creative expression and self-motivated learning for the third interview which confirmed the emerging theory. Angela, Justine, Coral, Gina and I.
Participants gave permission for first name to be used in this thesis, except Angela which is a pseudonym. were the five participants of the study who came from diverse backgrounds of formal and informal learning. They participated in the process through telling their stories using photo elicitation and subsequent interviews where they made discoveries about the connection between relationships and learning. Six theoretical categories emerged from the coding data. These were synergy, authenticity, connectedness, reflection, empowerment and discovery. These were grouped together under the acronym of S.A.C.R.E.D. Each letter indicates a group that emerged in the coding process which had properties that were innate in the learning process. From this study there emerged a theory that there is a connection between relationship and learning. The depth of this relationship was mystical; it spoke of a communion that was S.A.C.R.E.D. in the adult learning process.