Mezirow’s Transformative Learning Theory In childhood, learning is formative (derived from formal sources of authority and...
Human Communication and the Learning Process <ul><li>Human beings share a defining need to understand the meaning of their...
Definition of  Transformative Learning “The process of using a prior interpretation to construe a new or revised interpret...
<ul><li>Instrumental </li></ul><ul><li>Communicative  </li></ul><ul><li>Emancipatory </li></ul>Knowledge Domains in  Mezir...
Scientific cause and effect knowledge, used in learning to control and manipulate the environment or people. It consists o...
Socially constructed knowledge of ourselves, each other, and the social norms we live by. Communicative knowledge involves...
Knowledge that leads to freedom from constraints and oppression (either personal or social).  Emancipatory knowledge is su...
“ We are caught in our own histories” (Mezirow, 1991) <ul><li>We individually assimilate our culture </li></ul><ul><li>We ...
Key Points in Transformative Learning Theory <ul><li>Constructivist perspective of reality  </li></ul><ul><li>Learning def...
<ul><li>Meaning is an interpretation involving “meaning structures” to filter and provide the context  of experiences </li...
Meaning Schemes <ul><li>Specific attitudes, knowledge, beliefs, value judgments, and feelings involved in making interpret...
Meaning Perspectives <ul><li>Clusters of meaning schemes which constitute an overarching perspective or a rule system for ...
Learning becomes transformative when meaning structures are revised to include perspectives that are more  inclusive ,  di...
Perspective Transformation <ul><li>Critical reflection on the content, processes, and premises of untested assumptions </l...
Ideal Conditions for Discourse <ul><li>Have accurate and complete information </li></ul><ul><li>Be free from coercion and ...
Ideal Discourse, continued <ul><li>Be critically reflective of assumptions  </li></ul><ul><li>Have equal opportunity to pa...
Mezirow’s Underlying Assumptions about Adult Education <ul><li>There is no such thing as a value free education </li></ul>...
The Role of the Adult Educator Becomes ... <ul><li>To support and encourage transformative learning that creates more incl...
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Mezirow Presentation Oct 14, 2009 For Adlt 601

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Mezirow Presentation Oct 14, 2009 For Adlt 601

  1. 1. Mezirow’s Transformative Learning Theory In childhood, learning is formative (derived from formal sources of authority and socialization) In adulthood, learning is transformative, as adults are more capable of seeing distortions in their own beliefs, feelings, and attitudes
  2. 2. Human Communication and the Learning Process <ul><li>Human beings share a defining need to understand the meaning of their experience </li></ul><ul><li>We seek agreement on the meaning and justification for our understandings and beliefs </li></ul><ul><li>We seek more functional beliefs </li></ul><ul><li>We want to act on our beliefs </li></ul>
  3. 3. Definition of Transformative Learning “The process of using a prior interpretation to construe a new or revised interpretation of the meaning of one’s experience in order to guide future action” Mezirow, 1991 Definition of Transformative Learning “The process of using a prior interpretation to construe a new or revised interpretation of the meaning of one’s experience in order to guide future action” Mezirow, 1991 Definition of Transformative Learning “The process of using a prior interpretation to construe a new or revised interpretation of the meaning of one’s experience in order to guide future action” Mezirow, 1991
  4. 4. <ul><li>Instrumental </li></ul><ul><li>Communicative </li></ul><ul><li>Emancipatory </li></ul>Knowledge Domains in Mezirow’s Theory
  5. 5. Scientific cause and effect knowledge, used in learning to control and manipulate the environment or people. It consists of principles, rules, and technical information derived from scientific methods. Instrumental Knowledge
  6. 6. Socially constructed knowledge of ourselves, each other, and the social norms we live by. Communicative knowledge involves learning about feelings, intentions, values, moral issues, and meanings in communication with others. Communicative Knowledge
  7. 7. Knowledge that leads to freedom from constraints and oppression (either personal or social). Emancipatory knowledge is subjective in nature and occurs through critical reflection and critical self-reflection. Transformative learning leads to emancipatory knowledge. Emancipatory Knowledge
  8. 8. “ We are caught in our own histories” (Mezirow, 1991) <ul><li>We individually assimilate our culture </li></ul><ul><li>We uncritically adopt idiosyncrasies from primary child care givers in childhood </li></ul><ul><li>We have many intentionally and unintentionally learned theories about the world, some of which may no longer be serving us well </li></ul>
  9. 9. Key Points in Transformative Learning Theory <ul><li>Constructivist perspective of reality </li></ul><ul><li>Learning defined as meaning-making </li></ul><ul><li>Adults make meaning of experiences by examining, questioning, validating, and revising beliefs, values, attitudes, and feelings </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Meaning is an interpretation involving “meaning structures” to filter and provide the context of experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Two types of meaning structures: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Meaning schemes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meaning perspectives </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Meaning Schemes <ul><li>Specific attitudes, knowledge, beliefs, value judgments, and feelings involved in making interpretations </li></ul><ul><li>Expressed as “points of view” </li></ul>
  12. 12. Meaning Perspectives <ul><li>Clusters of meaning schemes which constitute an overarching perspective or a rule system for guiding behavior and action </li></ul><ul><li>Mezirow refers to meaning perspectives as “habits of mind” </li></ul>
  13. 13. Learning becomes transformative when meaning structures are revised to include perspectives that are more inclusive , differentiated , and permeable , in the sense of being open to alternative viewpoints.
  14. 14. Perspective Transformation <ul><li>Critical reflection on the content, processes, and premises of untested assumptions </li></ul><ul><li>Revises our “worldview” </li></ul><ul><li>Can be dramatic and epochal -- a disorienting dilemma or trigger event </li></ul><ul><li>Can be incremental -- accumulation of changes to meaning schemes </li></ul>
  15. 15. Ideal Conditions for Discourse <ul><li>Have accurate and complete information </li></ul><ul><li>Be free from coercion and distorting self-deception </li></ul><ul><li>Be able to weigh evidence and assess arguments “objectively” </li></ul><ul><li>Be open to alternative points of view and care about the way others think and feel </li></ul>
  16. 16. Ideal Discourse, continued <ul><li>Be critically reflective of assumptions </li></ul><ul><li>Have equal opportunity to participate in discourse </li></ul><ul><li>Be willing to accept an informed and rational consensus until new evidence or arguments are established as yielding better judgments </li></ul>
  17. 17. Mezirow’s Underlying Assumptions about Adult Education <ul><li>There is no such thing as a value free education </li></ul><ul><li>Adult educators are never neutral </li></ul><ul><li>The most insidious effects of power are when people feel insecure enough not to have a voice---and therefore do not participate </li></ul>
  18. 18. The Role of the Adult Educator Becomes ... <ul><li>To support and encourage transformative learning that creates more inclusive, discriminating, and integrative perspectives for the adult learner </li></ul><ul><li>How? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Challenge untested assumptions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage critical reflection and critical self-reflection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create ideal conditions for discourse </li></ul></ul>

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