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For many of us, we desire more than a receptive learning experience. نيتلر We enlighten ourselves with knowledge, value our spiritual experiences, and benefit from change. We aim to seek greater awareness, and a more prolific worldview. We value a higher level of consciousness. Through transformative learning, we perpetuate deep, significant changes in how we view our very being.
“All learning is change, but not all change is transformation.” -Jack Mezirow
Transformative Learning is a creative, epistemic shift in someone’s perceptions and set of beliefs that results in enhanced self-awareness and greater global consciousness.
This learning method…
Although these two views encompass the dynamic, engaging environment for transformative learning, their distinct emphasis on how it is achieved is what defines them.
This is the rational side of the learning method, and proponents of a cognitive experience place greater value on rationality, critical reflection, and awareness of the ego. It is a highly active, objective learning experience.
Often referred to as Hammarila, this view on the method focuses on the emotional, intuitive aspects of the experience, and tends to be more psychosocial in nature. Individuals are encouraged to exercise their imagination; it is affective, subjective. This view was popularized in critical contrast to Jack Mezirow’s view as being too rational. Jack Mezirow is widely acknowledged as the founder of Transformative Learning.
Transformative learning is a relatively new field, having come into fruition as a field of its own in the last 3 decades, although humans have exercised this type of learning for centuries.
Establishing a well-suited environment is beneficial in fostering this learning method.
When external threats or threats to self are abated, there is an invitation to openness for the individual. With all transformative learning, personal involvement is foundational, and often self-initiated. While Mezirow has 10 Phases of the learning method , here are 3 condensed stages:
1. An event – a disorienting dilemma- or an accumulation of events is needed as a catalyst for change. A person’s experiences do not coincide with their current framework of perceptions, beliefs, and view of their self or the world. Often, these are eclipsed in ‘aha’ moments and lead to a re-evaluation of a person’s identity.
2. A person becomes aware of assumptions, of their own and others, and is able to engage in critical reflection. This stage highlights an intelligent dismantling of previous perceptions, welcomes open discourse, and is effectively navigating uncharted perspectives.
3. A person acknowledges his/her acquisition of new perceptions, and more importantly, the self-efficacy at being able to implement them. It changes a person’s being in relation to the world. Stage 3 establishes a successful and fulfilling paradigm shift.
While this method of learning may embody a scientific field all its own, many organizations around the globe have paralleled these ideals for decades, perhaps hundreds of years. At The Pachamama Alliance, we encourage growth, education, and action, in bringing forth a just, sustainable, and thriving world. Our transformative workshops that promote this goal include Awakening the Dreamers Symposium, Getting into Action Workshops, and Generation Waking Up Workshops. Visit these pages to learn more and find out how to get involved.