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Transformation

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 2 months ago
 
Most of our students will have several careers. They will have to change organizations, roles and identities many times. Most will be part of organizations that periodically have to transform themselves in order to survive. Sadly some will be made redundant and will have to take on an entirely new role. Some will invent their own enterprise in order to earn an income or create and juggle a portfolio of jobs requiring them to maintain several identities simultaneously.  How do we help students gain the confidence and develop the resilience that will enable them to cope with such demands in a low risk, predictable environment like higher education?
 
Transformative Education
To help learners cope with the complexity of the real world the focus of higher education must strike a different balance between information transfer and identity development (personal transformation).
 
Lightly edited passage from Learning Reconsidered p9 (excludes references)
'Historically, our educational practice has emphasized information transfer from faculty to student without a great deal of thought given to the meaning, pertinence, or application of the information in the context of the student’s life.
 
Transformative education instead places the student’s reflective processes at the core of the learning experience and asks the student to evaluate both new information and the frames of reference through which the information acquires meaning. People acquire their frames of reference through the various influences to which they are exposed as they mature (such as family, other significant adults, social institutions such as religion, school and peer groups) and from the messages, assumptions, and guidelines of their culture.
 
Frames of reference are also called stories. People compose their own stories about who they are, what life is about, what is going to happen to them and how they should respond to the various challenges life presents. Maturation or development occurs as people become more capable of articulating and critiquing personal stories, reframing them and reshaping their own lives. This process, termed self-authorship is considered to be one of the higher levels of the developmental process, a way of making meaning in which people reflect on their lives, their values and their behavior and consider whether or not previous choices remain useful or productive for them. Frames of reference – and, therefore, students’ stories – change with growth, emerging or fading in a non-linear way.
 
The idea of transformative learning reinforces the root meaning of liberal education itself  – freeing oneself from the constraints of a lack of knowledge and an excess of simplicity. In the transformative educational paradigm, the purpose of educational involvement is the evolution of multidimensional identity, including but not limited to cognitive, affective, behavioral and spiritual development'.
 
 

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