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“Engaged, Participatory Rethinking” to Transform Our Classrooms and Higher Education

We do a poor job helping students translate the specific content or knowledge gained in our classrooms into a tool (informational, conceptual, methodological, epistemological or affective) that will help them thrive in life. If higher education doesn’t do that — if it isn’t geared to helping students succeed beyond the final exam and after graduation […]

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Student Engagement, Critical Reflection, Transformative Learning: What’s the Key?

Student engagement is a good thing. We’ve heard that for decades. Alexander Astin asked the question, “What matters in college?” then answered by saying a big percentage of what matters is student engagement (Astin, 1997). Pike & Kuh (2005, p. 186) agree in a summary statement about this issue, saying, “. . . students learn […]

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Scaffolding Eats Coddling for Lunch

[W]hy would we expect students who have come of age in neighborhoods and schools surrounded by people who largely look and think as they do to be highly skilled at handling personal insults hurled by those with different, yet similarly narrowly shaped, experiences and beliefs? Why should we expect that people who have experienced different […]

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The Transformative Impact of Sustainability Pedagogy and Andragogy

Critical Transformative Learning goes beyond the personal toward community action, even societal transformation. Approaching sustainability education through transformative experience could have pragmatic impact on the learner, the community and the environment. (Singleton, 2015) Education for Sustainability is “defined as a Transformative Learning process that equips students, teachers, and school systems with the new knowledge and […]

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Engaging or Ignoring the Disorienting Dilemma: Entitlement to Opinion?

Recently released results of a survey of K-12 teachers indicate that by a wide margin the factor most often reported as “very important” for student achievement is “student engagement and motivation” (Education Week Research Center, 2016, p. 15). While the question in the survey related to students’ academic achievement, would your response as a college […]

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Evolutionary and Revolutionary Transformative Learning

  Kroth and Boverie (2009) developed a 4-cell grid to conceptualize the mix between the speed of Transformative Learning (TL, which they characterize as “Discovering”) and whether the TL occurred because the prompt to change was imposed from outside or because the learner intentionally put herself into the transformative scenario: Quadrant 1 represents a transformative […]

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Celebrating Diversity in Scholarship

Captured in two of Central’s six tenets, global and cultural competencies and research, scholarly and creative activities are prevalent throughout the UCO campus, in both curricular and extra-curricular settings. However, one student group is celebrating its diversity, while promoting research, scholarship and creativity.   Diverse Student Scholars (DSS) is a group comprised of both undergraduate and graduate […]

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My visit to Tacoma, Washington for the International Transformative Learning Conference 2016

Written by Ed Cunliff, Ph.D., Professor, Adult and Higher Education   I discovered the International Transformative Learning Conference through their proceedings about twelve years ago and was as impressed with it then as I was during the recent gathering in Tacoma, WA. This biennial conference was held on the campus of Pacific Lutheran University, outside of […]

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The Perfect Storm for Transformative Learning?

[A]t the very moment when we have more varied ideas, thoughts and opinions on our campuses, we also have students who are less equipped and perhaps less eager to have challenging discussions. — José Antonio Bowen, President, Goucher College (2016, Dec. 7)   And, one might ask, what ideas or opinions are worth discussing? What […]

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Transformative Learning: Peripheral or Fundamental in Higher Ed Theory?

Kandlbinder and Peseta (2009) asked faculty and administrators for postgraduate certification courses in higher education teaching and learning what they consider to be the key concepts practitioners need to know about teaching well in college. In other words, if you want to earn a postgraduate certificate in higher education teaching and learning, what is the […]

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