The importance of transformational learning in adult education

Need to know why.

The importance of transformational learning in adult education

Other perspectives[ edit ] A number of critical responses to Mezirow's theory of transformative learning have emerged over the years. Some studies support Mezirow. Others conclude that Mezirow grants rational critical reflection too much importance.

Taylor [16] has since suggested neurobiological research as a promising area that may offer some explanation about the role emotions play, closing the gap between rationality and emotion in the transformative learning process.

Taylor implies that, with available modern technology such as magnetic resonance imaging MRI and positron emission tomography PETthese once obscure factors can now be examined through determining which neurological brain systems are at work during disorienting dilemmas and the journey of recovery that follows.

This neurobiological research also stresses the importance of the role of implicit memoryfrom which emerge habits, attitudes and preferences that are related to unconscious thoughts and actions.

While the learning process is certainly rational on some levels, it is also a profound experience that can be described as a spiritual or emotional transformation as well. The experience of undoing racist, sexist, and other oppressive attitudes can be painful and emotional, as these attitudes have often been developed as ways to cope with and make sense of the world.

The importance of transformational learning in adult education

This type of learning requires taking risks, and a willingness to be vulnerable and have one's attitudes and assumptions challenged. Other theorists have proposed a view of transformative learning as an intuitive and emotional process. Gordon Myers, and Rosemary R. Ruether link Mezirow's rational, cognitive and analytical approach to a more intuitive, creative and holistic view of transformative learning.

For Boyd, transformation is a "fundamental change in one's personality involving [together] the resolution of a personal dilemma and the expansion of consciousness resulting in greater personality integration". More recent research has specifically explored the process of transformative learning as it occurs in bereaved elders, [22] maintaining that the "disorienting dilemma" deemed necessary by Mezirow is present in the loss of a loved one, with an additional devastating factor being the isolation that the elderly in particular are likely to face.

Another study considers transformative learning in the context of suicide bereavement. Unlike Mezirow, who sees the ego as playing a central role in the process of perspective transformation, Boyd and Myers use a framework that moves beyond the ego and the emphasis on reason and logic to a definition of transformative learning that is more psychosocial in nature.

It is a shift of consciousness that dramatically and irreversibly alters our way of being in the world.

Transformative learning - Wikipedia

Such a shift involves our understanding of ourselves and our self-locations; our relationships with other humans and with the natural world; our understanding of relations of power in interlocking structures of class, race and gender; our body awareness, our visions of alternative approaches to living; and our sense of possibilities for social justice and peace and personal joy.

Positing that understanding transformative learning may have been hindered by perspectives of rational thought and Western traditions, Kathleen P. King [25] [26] provides an alternate model grounded in a meta-analysis of research, the "Transformative Learning Opportunities Model".

Recent considerations of these varying perspectives seem to indicate that one perspective does not need to exclude the other. For example, Mezirow and Dirkx discussed their views on transformative learning at a International Transformative Learning Conference.

This dialogue, facilitated by Patricia Cranton, continued via email after the conference and the overview was published in the Journal of Transformative Education. Dirkx focuses on subjectivity, in the power of the inner world in one's shift in view of the outer world.

Mezirow emphasizes critical assessment of assumptions. Although their approaches are different, they agree that their perspectives are similar in several aspects.

This includes transforming frames of reference that have lost meaning or have become dysfunctional, and fostering enhanced awareness and consciousness of one's being in the world.

Transformative Learning

Both perspectives are required to deepen understanding and to incorporate these ways of learning into transformative education. The term "meaning making" i.

In the constructivist view, meaning is constructed from knowledge. John Dirkx views transformational learning as a meaning-making process within adult education, aimed at promoting a democratic vision of society and self-actualization of individuals.

Therefore, transformational learning requires authenticity, a commitment to focus on the here and now, and awareness of feelings and emotions within the learning setting. The relationship between the individual and the broader world is discussed in terms of the critical role it plays in learning.

Dirkx describes our emotions and feelings as a kind of language for helping us learn about ourselves, our relationships with others and how we makes sense of all aspects of our experiences, both objective and subjective.

Mezirow [30] posits that all learning is change but not all change is transformation. There is a difference between transmissional, transactional and transformational education.

The importance of transformational learning in adult education

In transactional education, it is recognized that the student has valuable experiences, and learns best through experience, inquiry, critical thinking and interaction with other learners. It could be argued that some of the research regarding transformative learning has been in the realm of transactional education, and that what is seen as transformative by some authors [32] is in fact still within the realm of transactional learning.and transformational learning—and discusses their implications for practice.

It also provides a theoretical Within the adult education setting, the teacher can augment traditional classroom instruction with a variety of techniques to foster SDL Adult. Adult Learning Theories. The practice of fostering transformative learning was reviewed from an empirical perspective.

In the literature, much support was found for Mezirow's ideals for promoting rational discourse and critical reflection, two of the three interrelated components he identified as central to the process of fostering transformational learning. Other factors .

Implications for transformational learning and leadership theories are explored, as adult learning theory and continues to be of interest (Taylor, ). Transformational learning The case has been made about the importance of learning as a foundational element in effective leadership.

Vaill (), for example, explains how the. The Cooperative Extension System is the largest institution of adult education in America (Griffith in Peters & Jarvis, ). Extension, like many organizations, is working towards transformation to better meet public needs (Kellogg Commission on the Future of .

What is learning, and how can the learning process be improved to provide a higher quality education? The ability to receive a quality education is a privilege taken for granted in modern society. The development of the public school system and statutory education guidelines, lay the ground.

issues contributing to a critical theory of adult learning and education, including each theorist's social vision, understanding of the focus and learning problem, the definition of critical adult learning and education, educators' roles, and processes and outcomes of critical learning.

Transformative Learning: Another Perspective On Adult Learning