Transfromational Learning

What I Know. What I Wonder. What I Learned

Transformational Learning

  • What do you know about it?
  • How would an instructor go about teaching in that way?
  • Would students learn from it?

What do you know?

  • Jack Mezirow developed characterization in the '70's and '80''s
  • Dr. Patricia Cranton of Penn State said it is "the idea of people changing the way they interpret their experiences and their interactions with the world"
  • It is an "Aww" moment in learning

Mezirow's 10 transformation phases;

  1. Experiencing a disorienting dilemma
  2. Undergoing self-examination
  3. Conducting a critical assessment of internalized assumptions and felling a sense of alienation from traditional social expectations
  4. Relating discontent to the similar experiences of others
  5. Exploring options for new ways of acting
  6. Building competence and self-confidence in new roles
  7. Planning a course of action
  8. Acquiring the knowledge and skills for implementing a new course of action
  9. Trying out new roles and assessing them
  10. Reintegrating into society with the other perspective

(as listed by Cranton, P [2006], p. 20)


"Real communication can take place only where there is silence. But there is also something more in the silence that goes beyond opening the heart and seeing from inside." p. 79

Sometimes as a teacher it takes silence to hear. Allowing students to be lead by their own desires can teach them life time knowledge

How would I teach with transformational learning?

As a teacher setting the environment for students to explore through open ideas. Allowing students to look at learning in a different way such as hands on, or experiences shared and exploration. Creating learning circles, role plays, using case studies and journal writing can encourage transformational learning.

What I Wonder?

If teaching could be as simple as teaching students what they want to learn, how much would they learn?
I know in the early years of school students have a desire to learn and if transformative learning was the way they were taught I have a feeling that it would continue in their later years. It is nature to want knowledge. Setting environments and encouraging students to follow that desire could lead to a world knowledge well before their adulthood.

What I Learned.

As I work on this project, take this class and talk with my peers I come to believe in transformational learning as important as learning to put my shoes on. I believe that it might be a struggle to achieve every teacher to this way of thinking. But I think there is a movement to encourage more of this type of learning. More students need to come out of our high schools with problem solving skills and thinking on their own. Transformative learning could be a big step in achieving that goal.

Work Site

Senge, P., Scharmer, C., Jaworski, J., & Flowers, B. (2005). Presence (Sept. 2005 ed., p. 289). New York: Doupleday.

Cranton, P (2006). Understanding and promoting transforative learning (2nd ed.),
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Mezirow, J. (1978). Perspective transformation. Adult Education Quarterly, 28(2), 100-110.