Transformative Learning- Producing Enlightened Change Agents

Some weeks ago I listened to a podcast at Shrink Rap Radio, Transformative Education with Aftab Omer (I can't begin to say how much I have learned from this podcast series. I highly recommend it). Education in the podcast was divided into Informative and Transformational styles or methodologies; the content of the former was the Known, and that of the latter as the Unknown. I have been on a quest to understand more ever since...

I have thought for some time that one of my most effective assets for functioning in a foreign language is what I already know of the world. If someone is talking about cooking, for example, I can draw on my own experience to make a pretty good guess as to what kinds of tools, skills, ingredients and such that might be included in the conversation.

Contrasting this idea with the idea of the Unknown has led me to think about what kinds of advances in thinking and knowledge are occurring in English-language culture (which, if you live in one, is easy to take for granted. For me, apart from the internet, this is not part of my everyday experience.) And consequently, growth that I am not participating in, nor am I aware of.

This morning the thought came to me, when wondering why the USA is considered to be such an innovative culture, the common notion that it is a nation of immigrants. If you've ever been to a foreign country (let alone lived in one for an extended period), you are immediately struck by what you don't know. Imagine a country filled with people with the attitudes and skills requisite to succeed in a new, unknown realm. In the earliest days of the republic, these were obviously self-motivated people: they had, for the most part, chosen to jump into the unknown and make the best of it. A breed apart, indeed, as the American experience has shown.

Googling for more about 'informative transformative education' I found some interesting ideas for further thought-

At the blog Food for Thought it was written

Informative learning = changes in what we know; Transformative learning = changes in how we know.


A short (6 min.)  YouTube video by the Landmark Education folks. Here Informative Education was described to have the outcome of knowledge. The outcome of Transformative Education? Power and Freedom.


And in a paper presented to discuss needed changes in health care provider education it was written
The purpose of transformational education is to produce enlightened change agents.
That's it! Beware powers that be...

(The 3 1/2 pages are worthwhile reading for further breadth and depth.)

So, transformative education. Hmmm.....
  • what we know, 
  • what we don't know, 
  • how we know
  • power and freedom
  • enlightened change agent...
I have long been a reverse engineer- given the outcome, I think I need to do some more research and rethinking. And growing :-)

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