Education for Sustainability

Eric Hemphill

Written by Eric Hemphill, M.Ed. –

“Climate change is real. It’s out there. It’s our fault. It will be difficult to mitigate the effects, and even more difficult to reverse them. CO2 levels have reaching blah blah blah parts per million blah blah blah since blah blah blah year…”

This is how I started my first time teaching the Introduction to Sustainability Studies course at UCO. It was not well received. . . .  read more

Focus and Verbs: Attending the 2018 Transformative Learning Conference

TL Conference Attendees

Written by Beth Allan, PhD, Coordinator of Secondary Science Education, Biology Department –

Learning. Student. Transformative. Teachers. Discussion.  

These are the most common words from the 2018 Transformative Learning Conference Program. That student, learning, and transformative are the most common words is both encouraging and accurate for what it was like being at the conference. There were presentations and plenaries and workshops across the disciplines and about any subject. Conference attendees were from Oklahoma, Texas, California, and beyond. It was a well-attended and well-organized conference. So what sets the Transformative Learning Conference (TLC) apart from other conferences?  For me, it was the focus on action. . .  read more

Attending the Transformative Learning Conference as a First-Time Attendee

Picture of conference attendees at a coffee break

Picture of Therese Williams

Written by Therese Williams, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, UCO College of Business ISOM – 

As a first-year Assistant Professor at UCO, I received a wonderful opportunity to attend the 2018 Transformative Learning Conference in Oklahoma City.  In exchange for volunteering one day of the conference I was able to attend one day with the registration fee waived.  I worked at the registration desk for the first day on Thursday.  I believe that I enjoyed that as much as I did attending the conference on Friday!  I met wonderful people who volunteer their time to make sure that the conference runs smoothly.  I was able to meet and visit with many other attendees at times registration was not slammed with those picking up name tags and programs.  It was a great experience. . . .  read more

Starting the Intellectual Engine Online

Picture of arm steering car wheel

Picture of Tracey FearlessWriten by Tracy Fairless, M.A., Director of Learning Design, Center for eLearning and Connected Environments –

“Students should be made to grapple with the material and receive authentic practice in thinking like an expert,” said Carl Wieman, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and associate director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. In The Chronicle of Higher Education (2012) article entitled “Harvard Conference Seeks to Jolt University Teaching”, Wieman addressed the need for applying new approaches to teaching and learning. There is no mistaking the importance of covering concepts and theories in core undergraduate courses. However, emerging research calls to question the traditional teaching practice of lectures and standard forms of assessment and seeks to challenge professors to place emphasis on questions rather than answers. . . .  read more

Bildung and TL – hmmm

Image of book cover for "Transformative Learning Meets Bidung"

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. . . .  read more

The UCO Labyrinth: A Site for Inner Reflection, Social Change, and Transformative Learning

Faculty walking the UCO labyrinth

Written by Kato Buss, Ph.D., Chair, Department of Theatre Arts –

On Monday, November 13th at 4:00pm, the UCO Department of Theatre Arts senior capstone students presented a performance of The Blue Puzzle by Clare Duffy, in conjunction with the Climate Change Theatre Action (CCTA). CCTA is a worldwide series of readings and performances of short climate change plays presented to coincide with the United Nations COP23 meeting. CCTA collaborators were encouraged to design their event to reflect their own aesthetic and community. Considering this, The Blue Puzzle was performed on the UCO Labyrinth as a form of site-specific, environmental theatre. “Within contemplative pedagogy, labyrinths are one form of active meditative practice,” explains Kato Buss, Ph.D., “We believe the UCO labyrinth serves as a site of Transformative Learning and an ideal location to present a CCTA project, which asks us to deeply consider climate change; to imagine loss, survival, and resilience; and to expand our methods of telling stories and making work.” (Rudebock 2016) . . .  read more

Debate and the Central Six

Debate and the Central Six

The University of Central Oklahoma’s debate represents the school’s commitment to transformative learning. As traditional universities seek to provide meaningful educational experiences for their students, many have been engaged in practices of transformative learning from the very beginning. The University of Central Oklahoma has maintained a debate team since the 1890s. Like UCO, debate has changed a great deal since the days of the Territorial Normal School, and these changes have allowed debate to evolve into one of the strongest examples of transformative learning on the UCO campus. Transformative learning is a holistic process that revolves around the “Central Six.” The debate team at UCO provides student with experiences with each of the “Central Six.” . . .  read more