Transformational learning – is aboutchange, dramatic, fundamentalchange in the way we see ourselvesand the world in which we live.
Transformative learning – involvesexperiencing a deep, structural shiftin the basic premises of thought,feelings and actions.
Mezirow (1994) describedthe transformational learning theoryas being constructivist, anorientation which holds that theway learners interpret andreinterpret their sense experienceis central to making meaningand hence learning.This theory involves two kindsof learning:
Instrumental learning – focuses on learningthrough task – oriented problem solving anddetermination of cause and effectrelationships
Communicative learning – is involved withhow others communicate their feelings, needand desires with another person. It helps thelearners to become critical, autonomous andresponsible thinkers
Perspective transformation – leading totransformative learning occurs infrequently.Mezirow believes that it usually results froma disorienting dilemma, which is triggered bya life crisis or major life transition, althoughit may also result from an accumulation oftransformations in meaning schemes over aperiod of time
Process of Perspective Transformation Psychological (changes in understanding ofthe self) Convictional (revision of belief systems) Behavioral (changes in lifestyle)
From Mezirow (1997) , the goal oftransformational learning is to change the“frame of reference”, which is the collectiveassumptions through which we interpret andunderstand the world we live in.
Elements of frame of reference: (Mezirow1997) Habits of mind – are always affected andshaped by assumptions which build oncultural, social, educational and politicalcodes Point of View – Originates from habits ofmind
Learning occurs in one of four ways:(Mezirow 1997) By elaborating existing frames of reference By learning new frames of reference By transforming points of view, or By transforming habits of mind
Levels of Cognitive processing: (Mezirow1997) Cognitive processing: First order thinking Compute, memorize, read and comprehend Cognitive processing: Metacognition Monitoring progress and products of firstorder thinking Cognitive processing: Transformativelearning Reflecting on the limits of knowledge, the certainty ofknowledge, and the criteria for knowing
The following are the reasons to considertransformative learning theory and practice forstudents: (Guide for Educators of Adult, 1994). The transition to adult life. This often involvespersonal transformation as students move from asafe school environment to take on complexwork, study and social responsibilities When students are led to a deeper understandingof concepts and issues their fundamental beliefsan assumptions may be challenged leading to atransformation of perspective or overview
As we ask students to develop critical andreflective thinking skills and encourage themto care about the world around them theymay decide that some degree of personal orsocial transformation is required. We are living through a period oftransformational change in society andculture
The following are the key points to applytransformational learning in practice (Imel, 1998,Taylor, 1998) Ideal learning condition – promotes a sense ofsafety, openness, trust and care
Effective instructional methods – support alearner – centered approach, promotestudent autonomy, participation andcollaboration. Sensitive relationship with the students – thisprovides the students with quality learningexperience by being trusting, empathetic,caring, authentic and sincere
The following are instructional practices thatcan be used to increase participation andengagement in the classroom (deFrondeville) Creating an emotionally safe classroomstudents who have been shamed or belittledby the teacher or another student will noteffectively engage in challenging tasks Creating an intellectually safe classroom –begin every activity with a task that 95percent of the class can do without your help
Cultivating engagement meter – be acutelyaware of when your students are payingstrong attention or are deeply engaged intheir tasks Participating journal or blog writing tocommunicate with students – let yourstudents write with regular reflections on thework they have done Teaching self – awareness about knowledge –creating a culture of explanation instead of aculture of right answer
Using the design process to increase thequality of work – this is a draft – and –revision process used by many professionalsto increase the quality of their work Marketing the projects – assign projectswhich incorporate authentic tasks that willhelp students in their lives, jobs orrelationships
Educational ImplicationsThere have been plenty of criticismabout education that aims at an end product,rather than focusing on the learning process.The lack of a priority of experience andaccess to different areas of learning was alsomentioned.To determine what to learn and how tolearn requires a dialogue among all thosewho are involved in the educational process.
Remember:Transformative learning involves thetransformation of frame of reference (pointsof view, habits of mind, worldviews) andcritical reflection on how we come to know(Mezirow, 1997).In order to foster transformativelearning, the educator should assist learnersin becoming aware and critical ofassumptions
Reporters: Lenelyn S. Salera James Purgas Arnold Rodulfo Dominique Salazar