Researcher Colleen Halupa, Associate Professor in the Doctor of Health Education program at A. T. Still University in Missouri, authored “Are Students and Faculty Ready for Transformative Learning?” (Halupa, 2017) to consider, among other things, how faculty could know whether they are personally ready (or perhaps inclined) to make the move to instructional strategies and the philosophy supporting Transformative Learning (TL). University of Central Oklahoma faculty may be interested to learn what Halupa says about reasons why faculty hold back from taking the TL plunge and may like to consider her “Transformative Learning Readiness Scale.” . . .
Written By Steven Dunn, M.A., Office of Research Integrity and Compliance; and Psychology –
With a background in psychology, I was aware of Dr. Brené Brown’s work and had a strong curiosity towards her book, Daring Greatly. Reading the text alone offers any reader a communal exchange between zirself and the voice of the author in the narrative. By participating in CETTL’s faculty book club, I was offered the opportunity to read and discuss this book with approximately eight regularly attending faculty and staff members. Outside of merely reading the book and exchanging ideas with peers, I was charged with leading the group. . . .
Article by Ed Cunliff, Ph.D., Adult and Higher Education –
I confess that I bought the book titled, Transformative Learning Meets Bildung (Laros, Fuhr, & Taylor, 2017), because I wanted to be supportive of a friend, colleague, and advisory board member for the Journal of Transformative Learning. Annika Lehmann and her colleague Thomas Neubauer had written a chapter entitled “Bildung as Transformation of Self-World-Relations.” I couldn’t read that chapter without first reading “Bildung: An Introduction,” and then I wanted to see what the connection was between Transformative Learning (TL) and systems thinking, and then how parent training in Italy connected to TL in another chapter… etc., etc., and so forth, until I had finished the book, including Annika’s chapter. . . .
Written by Sam Ladwig, M.F.A, Assistant Professor, Design –
I teach a creative thinking class that is intentionally unorthodox. It falls into the “healthy life skills” category of core coursework at the University of Central Oklahoma, but it is ultimately a critical thinking course. Although I use several readings from Shane Show’s book Smart Cuts as a guide, there is no “content” in the traditional sense. Further, all of the assignments are pass/fail, and there is no limit on extra credit. Students either participate in what is prepared, or they customize the assignments for their own purposes. The primary learning objective is to explore wonder, curiosity, and play as creative inputs that help generate new questions as well as innovative approaches to solving them, but another objective is for each student to actively construct a positive learning environment that enhances their professional and personal development, especially with regard to metacognitive skills. Many students have written reflection essays that indicate changes in perspective that seem to meet the standard of “transformation,” while others have found it to be somewhat ambiguous and disjointed. . . .
Written by Rachelle Franz, Ed.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Health Studies –
Nearly three years ago, I bumped into two colleagues at the shared-office printer, and we began a casual conversation about Mind Brain Education (MBE). The term was fairly new to me, but my colleagues had already begun exploring this concept and began to share their insight. I was hooked. I wanted to learn more about how MBE could benefit my practice and my students’ learning. This casual conversation led to what we now call The Embodied Brain faculty study series. Our group is an organized, intentional, and diverse professional learning community, meeting every other week to discuss what we are learning in light of MBE research and practice. This collaboration represents five departments across the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) and is comprised of faculty interested in understanding how MBE can assist us in transforming our classroom environments. Our latest book of interest is NeuroTeach, Brain Science and the Future of Education (Whitman & Kelleher, 2016). Personally, I have been most impacted by this book, so I would like to highlight several of the main points here in hopes that you too will be intrigued. . . .
David Pace and Joan Middendorf created a model for decoding the disciplines as a method for faculty to uncover the ways students think and learn in various disciplines. Following their seven step process allows faculty members to understand the role they play in students’ misunderstandings of course content.
Did you ever wonder why students don’t understand what you have told them over and over? When did you first notice that students were getting lost in your course? Recognizing the bottleneck is the first of the seven steps. The second step is uncovering the assumptions you make about what students need to know to understand further the new knowledge. One way to determine your assumptions is to repeat the same explanation to someone, not in your discipline. Then, ask them what part they don’t understand. Suddenly you realize “Oh, I have to explain this first, so that can understand that.” . . .
I recently had the opportunity to read “Self-Directed Learning: A Guide for Students and Teachers”, by Malcolm Knowles. It was a quick and easy read that reminds us both as learners and instructors the need for learner-centered design. One of the best ways to encourage transformation in a learner is to put them at the center of their own learning. As a lifelong learner and a grad student, I find it most transformative when I am allowed a role in the learning that takes place in the classroom or online environment. I want a say in what is taught as well as the activities used during instruction. I am confident in my ability to direct my learning. . . .
Written by Cheryl Frech, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Chemistry –
I am a big fan of books. Because I commute to UCO from Norman, I constantly listen to audiobooks in the car. My bedside table is stacked with a book-in-progress and multiple to-read titles. I just completed an eight-year stint as the book and media reviews editor for the Journal of Chemical Education. And I am the organizer of a Fiction Club in Norman. I also find books essential for teaching and learning about teaching. Just as there are trends in the popular press, there are trends in books about education. But many of us will gravitate back to our favorite titles, ones that have spoken to us and guided us through the various stages of our teaching career. . . .
How many times have you heard a student ask, “How does this relate to my life?” Autobiography and life writing can be a transformative tool in the classroom to help elicit answers to this question. After all, we all come to college with a different set of life experiences that make up the whole of who we understand ourselves to be. But how might we learn from these past experiences? . . .
The UCO Center for Excellence in Transformative Teaching and Learning (CETTL) distributes a hard bound, blank journal to each faculty member that participates in a CETTL faculty development event. We encourage faculty to write critical reflections and ideas about good teaching during CETTL activities, then discuss them with each other.
Here are a few of my comments and questions after participating in a recent session about “critical reflection for university teachers:” . . .