Our invitation to you…

We invite you to submit proposals, and join us, for the co-hosted 14th Biennial International Transformative Learning Conference (ITLC) to be held at Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, April 6-9, 2022.

Transformative Learning
Telling, Evaluating, and Deepening Our Story

We invite proposals for pre-conferences, paper presentations, experiential sessions, symposia and roundtables. Submissions will be done electronically. Details and instructions for submission are provided below.

October 31, 2021  –  Proposals due

December 15, 2021  –  Proposal acceptance notification

February 1, 2022  –  Papers submitted

We look forward to welcoming you to Michigan next spring!

Update from the Co-Chairs & Steering Committee

(10/14/21)We understand many have been navigating a challenging return to campus this Fall, and so we are extending the deadline to submit proposals to October 31st.

 

We have also added language to the Instructions for Submissions below clarifying that a partial list of references is acceptable in the proposal body in order to allow sufficient space for the proposal summary, references and supporting materials subject to the 1200 word limit.

 

(10/1/21) It is our intention that the 2022 International Transformative Learning Conference be an in-person conference. However, we also understand that we continue to be affected by a world-wide health crisis. Given this context, the steering committee is evaluating possible options for virtual participation and presentations. A final decision on this option will be announced on December 15. This is also the date when proposal acceptance emails will be sent. Our goal is to allow participants time to make an informed decision on whether they can commit to submitting a final paper and presenting at the conference should travel restrictions make attendance impossible. 

Embracing Transformation as a Rarity

At the center of this gathering is a shared interest in transformation, a word used frequently in today’s world. A quick google search of the internet has almost 2 billion hits. You find it being employed by business consultants, community planners, life coaches, educators, health professionals…no sector is removed from individuals and organizations implying their work evokes radical change in the systems they touch. However, if everything results in transformation, it doesn’t suggest a very high bar for this type of change. To quote an analogous statement from Harry Nilsson’s Pointed Man, “A point in every direction is the same as no point at all”. The word has become so ubiquitous to have almost no meaning.

However, what if we consider transformation as something more, something difficult, something that doesn’t happen very often? What if we acknowledged the struggle of transformation as something to aspire toward but rarely obtained? What would that look like?

Theorists and practitioners who focus on this phenomenon have labeled significant and profound change as transformative learning. Transformative learning is an outcome which results in the reorganizing of the internal systems of an organism such that its combined thoughts, behaviors, and emotions are more authentic and functional within a given sociocultural and/or psychological contexts. This type of evolution creates a deeper sense of meaning and purpose, resulting in an enhanced sense of self or consciousness. This reorganization can occur within any organic system; an individual, group, organization, or community.

Ultimately, this is an outcome for which the genesis is not always obvious. A trigger event may allow the transformation to fully manifest itself, however, the years of work that preceded this materialization are often times hidden to the observer, and sometimes the organisms themselves. Since all organic systems strive for homeostasis, the resistance to transformation is usually high. The process takes a significant amount of time and energy. The results however are relatively permanent and benefit the person, organization, or community in the ways described above.

If transformative learning is the outcome, transformative education is the philosophy and process of facilitating this type of change. The philosophy of transformative education is to be cognizant of learning that rises to a level of systemic alternation and to create processes designed to facilitate this level of change. It is not easy, takes a significant amount of time, and often times isn’t obvious until well after the change has occurred. For an individual, the results are a set of beliefs, actions, and emotions that are better aligned internally, provide more functionality externally, and ultimately bring forth a higher level of self-awareness. The same is true for the organization and the community, where the culture, rules, rewards, activities, and evaluations better serve the larger system and at the same time the individuals who are part of the organization or community.

In the 2022 International Transformative Learning Conference, it is our goal to revisit our origin, make meaning of where we are today, and conceptualize our future. During this process we will gather as a community of new and old to explore the multidimensional elements of transformation at the level of individual, organization, and community. At the same time, we will acknowledge and explore the various components of cognitive, emotional, behavior, and spiritual development within the various levels of transformational learning and transformational education.

Our Call For Proposals

Although discourse about transformative learning has to date focused primarily on individual learning, in this gathering we want to continue to expand our focus to include organizations, and communities.

Naturally, we are interested in proposals that share research and theory that inform practice, and practice that spurs research and theory-building on the conference theme. We also welcome proposals that highlight work that amplifies transformative learning outside the scope of the theme.

We have a particular interest in proposals by practitioners, grounded in the work of transformation-in-action. We have provided a theme allowing for proposals by individuals or organizations who are doing this work on a daily basis, but may not have the language of transformative learning theory, but draw from other disciplines.

If you are interested in serving as a reviewer of proposals for the conference, please click the button below. 

Types of Submissions

We welcome submissions in the forms of paper presentations, experiential sessions, rountables, PechaKucha and symposia. Descriptions, proposal requirements, and evaluation criteria for each session type are provided below.

Paper Presentations

Papers must address transformative learning. Please be clear about how you define and apply this concept. Papers should be based either on:

  • Research (e.g., quantitative or qualitative research, action-research, case study, meta-analysis, etc.)
  • Theory (e.g., conceptual study, model or theory development, etc.)
  • Specific practice (applications in a real-world environment that tests or challenges existing theory, proposes new actions, or extends the practice beyond formal settings.)
  • Transformation-in-action (e.g. individuals or organizations outside of the scholarship of transformative learning engaging in the same philosophy and practices as transformative learning and education)
800-1200 words including references and other supporting material
Up to 3500 words, including references and other supporting material

For all proposals:

  1. Connection of topic to transformative learning explained clearly
  2. Theoretical basis for conceptualizing transformative learning explained clearly
  3. Quality of writing: well-crafted sentences, clear explanations and logic, accessible language

Additional criteria for paper presentations:

  • Makes significant contribution to discourse about theory, practice, and/or research

Experiential Sessions

Experiential sessions demonstrate new and innovative practices in transformative learning through creative, interactive formats. These sessions are 90 minutes in duration and will illustrate theoretical, practical and experiential integration. We invite and encourage using, e.g., video, drama, graphic arts, poetry, movement and other symbolic forms. When designing your session keep in mind that participants should be substantively and actively engaged throughout.

Proposals for experiential sessions should include both the theoretical perspective, which frames the session, and a plan for the flow of the workshop.

800-1200 words including references and other supporting material
Up to 3500 words, including references and other supporting material

For all proposals:

  1. Connection of topic to transformative learning explained clearly
  2. Theoretical basis for conceptualizing transformative learning explained clearly
  3. Quality of writing: well-crafted sentences, clear explanations and logic, accessible language

Additional criteria for experiential sessions:

  • Clear description of activity used to engage participants experientially
  • Explicit description of how experiential activity will contribute to participants’ ideas related to theory, practice, and/or research

Roundtable Sessions

The roundtable is an informal and relaxed context for researchers, including graduate students, to discuss work in progress, Roundtable proposals should describe the questions, issues, or topics author/s would like to explore.

800-1200 words including references and other supporting material
Up to 3500 words, including references and other supporting material

For all proposals:

  1. Connection of topic to transformative learning explained clearly
  2. Theoretical basis for conceptualizing transformative learning explained clearly
  3. Quality of writing: well-crafted sentences, clear explanations and logic, accessible language

Additional criteria for roundtable sessions:

  • Clear description of strategy used to help participants engage with a topic, questions, or issues that the roundtable author wants to explore

PechaKucha Sessions

Originally a Japanese type of storytelling, in this session presenters will have 20 slides that are shown for 20 seconds each (6 minutes and 40 seconds total). The presenter must coordinate their presentation with the automatic movement of the slides. These sessions are open to any topic, perspective, or practice within the larger domain of transformative learning and transformative education.

800-1200 words including references and other supporting material
Up to 3500 words, including references and other supporting material

For all proposals:

  1. Connection of topic to transformative learning explained clearly
  2. Theoretical basis for conceptualizing transformative learning explained clearly
  3. Quality of writing: well-crafted sentences, clear explanations and logic, accessible language

Additional criteria for PechaKucha sessions:

  • Clear description of presentation topic, perspective, or practice with strong connections to transformative learning and/or transformative education.

Symposia Sessions

Proposals should include a group of three to five authors discussing contradictory or complementary points of view related to a shared topic. We welcome international collaboration.

800-1200 words including references and other supporting material
Up to 7000 words, including references and other supporting material

For all proposals:

  1. Connection of topic to transformative learning explained clearly
  2. Theoretical basis for conceptualizing transformative learning explained clearly
  3. Quality of writing: well-crafted sentences, clear explanations and logic, accessible language

Additional criteria for symposia sessions:

  • Potential to make significant contribution to discourse about theory, practice, and/or research
  • Makes significant contribution to discourse about theory, practice, and/or research
  • Complementarity or contradictory points of view explained clearly.

* Given concerns about self-plagiarism policies that have been instituted by some academic journals (Callahan, 2014), you may choose not to submit a full paper if your proposal is selected. (We suggest that you contact target journals to inquire about their policies.) However, we strongly encourage you to submit a full paper to be included in the proceedings. Please note that only full papers will be considered for the Jack Mezirow Award.

** More about meeting expectations for the first two criteria:

1.  Connection of topic to transformative learning explained clearly

In explaining the relationship of your topic to transformative learning, be mindful that the field of transformative learning includes theorists and practitioners from various disciplines and sites of practice. Do not assume shared knowledge or points of view. Explicitly describe your perspective on how the content and/or process of transformative learning relates to your topic.

2.  Theoretical basis for conceptualizing transformative learning explained clearly

Explain the key concepts that inform your perceptions about transformative learning and situate those concepts in the theory or theories that influence your conceptualization. Although your conceptualization of transformative learning can be related to any theoretical point of view, it is essential that you explicitly identify the theory that informs your perspective. Your work may draw on other theories that relate to your topic, but identification of these theories does not meet this criterion.

Instructions for Submissions

Rule of Three

Rule of 3: No more than three submissions for each author.

Submission Guidelines

Keep in the mind the following when submitting your proposal using the online system:

  • First author will need to submit the proposal using the online system; additional author information can be added by first author
  • Abstract of no more than 200 words will be submitted separately from proposal and is NOT included in the word count
  • Proposal should not include any identifying information; author information will be collected separately and should not appear in your proposal

Proposal Formatting

1)  Proposal cover page with the following information:

  • Title of presentation
  • Type of presentation (paper presentation, experiential session, symposium or roundtable)
  • Do not include your name or any identifying information

2) Proposal body:

  • Begin proposal on separate sheet with title of the presentation
  • Proposals should be a single-spaced summary that includes appropriate citations and list of references. *Update 10/14/21: A partial list of references is acceptable.* Proposal should be 800-1200 words, including the references and any other supporting materials. 
  • Abstract of no more than 200 words (not included in the word count) will be submitted separately using the online system and does not need to be included in the proposal body
  • Include keywords (list no more than five)
  • Use US letter paper format, one-inch (2.54 cm) margins, 12 pt. font. Times New Roman
  • Use APA Version 6 to format your manuscript
  • Name(s) of submitter(s) should NOT appear on the proposal
  • Label your file as Last Name_ITLC2022_Proposal
  • Submit proposals as a Microsoft Word attachment
  • You will be required to electronically sign a warrant statement when submitting your proposal
  • All proof-reading is your responsibility and must be carried out prior to submission. The editors reserve the right not to include any paper that, in their opinion, will reduce the quality of the proceedings

Questions? Please write to us at: ITLC2022-SC@intertla.org

Submitting Your Proposal 

Proposals should be submitted through the online abstract management system, Ex Ordo, at itlc2022.exordo.com. The first author will need to create a new user account with Ex Ordo in order to submit the proposal. Additional authors may also create a user account and should use the same email address provided in the proposal if they wish to view and edit the proposal or see it in their submissions dashboard. They can also submit additional proposals through this account. Proposals can be edited or withdrawn up until 11:59pm US Eastern time on October 31, 2021.

Fuller instructions on submitting a proposal are provided on the Ex Ordo site. Click the Submit a Proposal button below to get started.

Jack Mezirow Living Theory Of Transformative Learning Award

The Jack Mezirow Living Theory of Transformative Learning Award is inspired by Jack Mezirow’s efforts to engage the field of adult education in thinking theoretically about adult learning. To promote reflection about what he called “a theory in progress,” Mezirow founded the International Transformative Learning Conference in 1998. In prior decades he had developed his own vision about the transformative dimensions of adult learning, generating lively discourse in the field of adult education as scholars and practitioners expanded, applied, and critiqued his ideas.

Mezirow (2012) defined transformative learning as “the process of using a prior interpretation to construe a new or revised interpretation of the meaning of one’s experience as a guide to future action” (p. 74). Transformed frames of reference are “more inclusive, discriminating, open, emotionally capable of change, and reflective” (p. 76). The recipient of the Jack Mezirow Award contributes to living theory by addressing frames of reference about transformative learning, providing scholars and practitioners with a more inclusive, discriminating, open, reflective theoretical and practical perspective that is dynamic in its possibilities for growth and change.

The Jack Mezirow Living Theory of Transformative Learning Award is given at the International Transformative Learning Conference, held every two years. The award was established in 2014 and was awarded for the first time at the conference that year.

Eligibility

  • All papers, experiential sessions, and symposia accepted for inclusion at the conference are eligible for the award, except those with an author who is a member of the selection committee.
  • Single or jointly authored papers are considered for the award.
  • The paper should extend theory, research, and/or practice in a way that reflects a vision of living theory in progress, as described above.
  • The award can be given for promising new perspectives as well as more established or researched perspectives.

Evaluation Criteria

  • The theoretical perspective of transformative learning theory is clear and well-articulated.
  • Rationale for the paper is persuasive.
  • The paper is original and creative.
  • The paper is clearly written and engaging.
  • The methodology and results are clearly described.
  • The paper makes a significant contribution to theory, practice, and/or research.

Please direct any question to Dr. Chad Hoggan at ITLCMezirowAward@intertla.org.

International Transformative Learning Association – Patricia Cranton Distinguished Dissertation Award

The International Transformative Learning Association recognizes emerging scholars by conferring the Patricia Cranton Distinguished Dissertation Award. This award commends a distinguished doctoral dissertation that exemplifies scholarly work and contributes to the transdisciplinary field of transformative learning.

Purpose of Award

This Award has three aims:

  • To recognize and honor emerging scholars who extend and inform a living theory of transformative learning.
  • To acknowledge originality and quality of inquiry.
  • To invite and expose contributions from diverse perspectives of transformative learning theory and/or praxis.

In order to be eligible for this award, a dissertation must have been accepted for degree conferral between Spring 2018 and Fall 2021. Please submit an application for consideration by January 15, 2022 according to the following guidelines.

Award winners should plan on attending the 2022 Conference.

The submission should include:

  • A cover page that identifies:

Dissertation title; Author; Author’s current affiliation; Author’s current email address; Author’s current telephone number; Program degree earned; Degree granting institution; Date of defense and academic year degree is granted; Dissertation Chair.

  • A recommendation letter and verification of defense date from the candidate’s dissertation committee chair (if chair is unavailable the letter can come from another committee member), to be sent in a separate email to the following address: ITLADissertationAward@intertla.org
  • Chapter 1 of the dissertation. If Chapter 1 does not include the following – the dissertation’s problem, purpose, theoretical framework, research questions and significance of the study – send a supplemental description of this content.
  • An essay of 1000-1500 words (3-5 pages, double spaced, Times New Roman 12-point font) that responds to the following question:

In what ways does this dissertation extend and inform a living theory of transformative learning? Consider theoretical framework, methodology, research findings and implications for practice as you respond to this question in your short essay.

    • All submissions must adhere to APA VII formatting guidelines and demonstrate quality of scholarly writing.

    Submission Deadlines

    • Applicant’s Materials Due January 15, 2022

    Questions can be directed via email to: ITLADissertationAward@intertla.org.