Measuring the Importance of Precursor Steps to Transformative Learning

Brock, Sabra E.
February 2010
Adult Education Quarterly;Feb2010, Vol. 60 Issue 2, p122
Academic Journal
Transformative learning has been important in the development of adult education since Jack Mezirow proposed it more than 35 years ago as a theoretical description of the steps learners undergo in changing their worldviews. However, despite much qualitative research, little quantitative study has been made of the incidence of transformative learning or the 10 steps predicted by Mezirow to precede it. This study of 256 undergraduate business school students reports the incidence of transformative learning and each of the 10 precursor steps. The more steps respondents remembered experiencing, the more they also reported transformative learning. The highest incidence of reporting transformative learning was associated with the precursor step of critical reflection, followed by the steps of disorienting dilemmas and trying on new roles. Implications for practitioners and researchers are discussed.


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