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Through a pedagogical lens: Transformative Learning Theory in Practice

Key learning on critical-transformative theory, presented as part of NUED570 Assignment 2.

Thelma Bridge

on 7 December 2013

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Transcript of Through a pedagogical lens: Transformative Learning Theory in Practice

Through a pedagogical lens:
Transformative Learning Theory in Practice

Transformative Learning Theory:
learning occurs through critical self-reflection
effects a deep shift in perspective in the learner

Transformative learning is:
“the process by which we transform our taken-for-granted frames of reference (meaning perspectives, habits of mind, mind-sets) to make them more inclusive, discriminating, open, emotionally capable of change, and reflective so that they may generate beliefs and opinions that will prove more true or justified to guide actions”
(Mezirow, 2000, p. 7-8).

Critical-Tranformative Theory:
Stephen Brookfield
critique of ideologies
effecting social change
challenging dominant ideologies
taking social action against oppression
a presentation by Thelma Bridge
My Experience
Transformative Learning Theory

Learning outcomes for students:
to understand that "health has different meanings"
to understand how this affects nursing practice

In transformative learning, learners:
are exposed to a “disorienting dilemma”
reflect on their habits of mind
open themselves up to new perspectives
determine new behaviours

* Key learning:
“We can evaluate only the process of transformative learning, not the product” (Mezirow, 1991, cited in Cranton and Hoggan, 2012, p. 523).

We should not determine learning outcomes in advance; however, we can evaluate “changes in reflection” and the “quality of reflection” (Mezirow, 1991, p. 220, cited in Cranton and Hoggan, 2012, p. 522-523).

I began with a traditional lecture.

Problem: the students were not engaged,
and the lesson did not feel right for me either

In a transformative learning environment,
the educator and students should:
be co-learners
work in partnership
share power

* Key learning:
Transformative learning involves emancipatory knowledge (one of Habermas's 1971 three types of knowing, integrated into Transformative Learning Theory by Mezirow 1991 and Cranton 2006).

Emancipatory knowledge is acquired through:
critical self-reflection
critical awareness of ourselves and our social and cultural contexts

New lesson approach:
sit at roundtable
share our experiences
discuss topic collaboratively

Gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals
might encounter health care challenges.

The students expressed concerns about how to communicate with transgender patients without wanting to give offence.

I shared that I have a transgender friend
(who I will call Nathan for this presentation).

The students reflected on their habits of mind.

* Key learning:
Critical reflection and self-reflection are a crucial process in transformative learning.

The educator must be conscientious of her own perspectives and habits of mind and also participate in the reflective process.

New plan:
students would work collaboratively
they would plan a session to talk with Nathan
they would generate thoughtful questions to ask

The students were guiding their own learning.

They were generating questions that were meaningful for them, and working as a group to incorporate a range of different perspectives.

* Key learning:
According to Transformative Learning Theory, "[l]earning is collaborative and knowledge is constructed by people working together"
(Cranton, 2010, p. 81).

At the session:
Nathan was happy to share his experiences
two student representatives lead the session
questions were hesitant at first
discussion began to flow

The students developed questions that:
were well thought-out
were client-focussed
asked for Nathan's meaning of health
and his perspective of health care

The students were undergoing the process of transformative learning:
identifying a problem
reflecting on what experiences meant
finding new behaviours to reflect changed perspectives

After the session:
Students journalled about the experience,
discussing how they felt before and after.

Debrief next class:
We talked as a group about what we had
learned and how we felt about the experience.

* Key learning:
It can be difficult to evaluate transformative learning.
Educators can look for evidence of quality reflection and changes in habits of mind.
Useful methods of evaluation include journalling, self-evaluation, interviews and discussion.

The students shared that:
this was a positive experience
they had changed assumptions and views of transgender individuals
they had opened their minds
they were re-evaluating other beliefs
they felt they had gained insight into how to be a better nurse in unfamiliar/uncomfortable situations

* Key learning:
The transformative process can enable nurses to "construct new ways of thinking that impact the health care needs of society" (Faulk and Morris, 2012, p. 24)
Thank you for watching!

Cranton, P. (2011). A transformative perspective on the scholarship of teaching and learning.
Higher Education Research
& Development
(1), 75-86.
Cranton, P., & Hoggan, C. (2012). Evaluating transformative learning. In E. W. Taylor, & P. Cranton (Eds.),
The handbook
of transformative learning: Theory, research, and practice
(520-535). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Faulk, D. R., & Morris, A. H. (2012). Transformative learning environments: Teacher and learner perspectives. In A. H.
Morris, & D. R. Faulk (Eds.),
Transformative learning in nursing: A guide for nurse educators
(15-26). New York: Springer.
Lynam, M. J. (2009). Reflecting on issues of enacting a critical pedagogy in nursing.
Journal of Transformative Education
(1), 44-64.
Mezirow, J. (2000). Learning to think like an adult. In J. Mezirow & Associates (Eds.),
Learning as transformation: Critical
perspectives on a theory in progress
(3-33). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Morris, A. H. & Faulk, D. R. (2012). Transformative learning as an innovative pedagogy for nursing education. In A. H.
Morris, & D.R. Faulk (Eds.),
Transformative learning in nursing: A guide for nurse educators
(3-14). New York: Springer.
Taylor, E. W. (2008). Transformative learning theory.
New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education
(119), 5-15.
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