Transformative Learning in Practice: Insights from Community, Workplace, and Higher Education
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  • Wiley

More About This Title Transformative Learning in Practice: Insights from Community, Workplace, and Higher Education


Transformative learning in practice

Transformative learning is becoming influential in all areas of the educational landscape. In Transformative Learning in Practice, leading authorities and practitioners working in a variety of national and international settings, including college classrooms, corporate workshops, online, and informal groups in rural communities, offer insights and a wealth of strategies for fostering transformative learning in and out of the classroom.

Transformative Learning in Practice will help readers:

  • Learn the most effective practices for promoting transformative learning
  • Understand the most helpful ways transformative learning informs practice
  • Find out how the teaching setting shapes the practice of transformative learning
  • Discover the successes, strengths, and outcomes of fostering transformative learning
  • Recognize the risks and challenges of practicing transformative learning

This comprehensive resource includes an introduction to the theory of transformative learning, a brief overview of the growing body of research on the topic, and a discussion of areas for future exploration.

Praise for Transforming Learning in Practice

"Transformative learning comes to life in this powerful collection of real experiences which put transformative learning into practice in higher education, the workplace, and in community and social change education. Every chapter is full of candid insights from reflective practitioners about the challenges and rewards of engaging in transformative learning.

A must-read for adult educators everywhere!"
—Sharan B. Merriam, professor emeritus of adult education, University of Georgia

"Mezirow and Taylor's book deepens our understanding of a central idea in adult education—that meaningful learning for adults is often triggered by a transformative experience. Readers are provided a rich array of approaches which help them to understand and facilitate transformative learning in multiple settings. Together these practices build a toolkit for those who would support learning that transforms."
—Karen E. Watkins, professor, human resource and organization development, Department of Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy, University of Georgia

"Methods to facilitate transformative learning bear intriguing similarities across varied places and spaces. This book breaks through silo thinking and is for educators across formal and informal settings who are concerned with individual or collective transformation, whether in the 'North' or 'South.'"
—Shirley Walters, professor of adult and continuing education, University of Western Cape, South Africa


The Editors

Jack Mezirow is professor emeritus of adult and continuing education at Teachers College, Columbia University. His previous books include Transformative Dimensions of Adult Learning, Fostering Critical Reflection in Adulthood, Learning as Transformation, and others.

Edward W. Taylor is associate professor in adult education at Penn State Capitol College University in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He has published widely on transformative learning including in the journals Adult Education Quarterly, International Journal of Lifelong Education, and the Journal of Transformative Education. He is a coeditor of Adult


Preface xi

About the Authors xv


1 Fostering Transformative Learning 3
Edward W. Taylor

2 Transformative Learning Theory 18
Jack Mezirow


3 Creating Alternative Realities: Arts-Based Approaches to Transformative Learning 35
Shauna Butterwick, Randee Lipson Lawrence

4 Constructive Teaching and Learning: Collaboration in a Sociology Classroom 46
Debra Langan, Ron Sheese, Deborah Davidson

5 Facilitating Transformative Learning: Engaging Emotions in an Online Context 57
John M. Dirkx, Regina O. Smith

6 Fostering Transformative Learning in Leadership Development 67
Joe F. Donaldson

7 Mentoring: When Learners Make the Learning 78
Alan Mandell, Lee Herman

8 Transformative Approaches to Culturally Responsive Teaching: Engaging Cultural Imagination 89
Elizabeth J. Tisdell, Derise E. Tolliver

9 Promoting Dialogic Teaching Among Higher Education Faculty in South Africa 100
Sarah Gravett, Nadine Petersen

10 Transformative Palliative Care Education 111
Rod MacLeod, Tony Egan


11 Engaging Critical Reflection in Corporate America 125
Stephen Brookfield

12 Charting the Course: How Storytelling Can Foster Communicative Learning in the Workplace 136
Jo A. Tyler

13 Coaching to Transform Perspective 148
Beth Fisher-Yoshida

14 The Transformative Potential of Action Learning Conversations: Developing Critically Reflective Practice Skills 160
Victoria J. Marsick, Terrence E. Maltbia

15 Transformative Learning in Adult Basic Education 172
Kathleen P. King, Barbara P. Heuer

16 From Tradesperson to Teacher: A Transformative Transition 182
Patricia Cranton


17 Fostering a Learning Sanctuary for Transformation in Sustainability Education 193
Elizabeth A. Lange

18 Popular Education, Women’s Work, and Transforming Lives in Bolivia 205
Catherine A. Hansman, Judith Kollins Wright

19 Promoting Personal Empowerment with Women in East Harlem Through Journaling and Coaching 216
Susan R. Meyer

20 Breaking Out of the Egg: Methods of Transformative Learning in Rural West Africa 227
Peter Easton, Karen Monkman, Rebecca Miles

21 Farmer Field Schools: A Platform for Transformative Learning in Rural Africa 240
Deborah Duveskog, Esbern Friis-Hansen

22 Collaborative Inquiry in Action: Transformative Learning Through Co-Inquiry 251
Lucia Alc ´ antara, Sandra Hayes, Lyle Yorks

23 Challenging Racism in Self and Others: Transformative Learning as a Living Practice 262
European-American Collaborative Challenging Whiteness


24 Looking Forward by Looking Back: Reflections on the Practice of Transformative Learning 275
Edward W. Taylor, Jodi Jarecke

Index 291