This paper analyses transformative learning in relation to professional development, intertwining it with practice-based studies. It contextualizes and addresses limitations of theories of individual reason-based transformative learning, as conceptualized by Mezirow (1998, 2000), using the leverage of practices and situated knowledge to trigger change and to redesign it with the active involvement of groups, communities, and organizations.
The purpose is to examine the contribution that a practice-based view of transformative learning offers to the professional development of teachers and school directors. We describe:
- how the concept of transformative learning has been translated into the context of our community, which has stressed its social and situated dimensions and has formulated a practice-based view of it;
- an example that illustrates strengths and weaknesses of a methodological path that is based on a practice-based view of transformative learning–for the purpose of fostering diverse types of critical reflective practices and for leading to critical awareness and questioning of assumptions that shape professional role and identity.