Barriers and Obstacles to Transformative Learning: Embracing Immunity and Resistance on the Journey to Transformation

Transformative learning is 'an approach to teaching based on promoting change, where educators challenge learners to critically question and assess the integrity of their deeply held assumptions about how they relate to the world around them' (Mezirow & Taylor, 2009, p. xi). While it is clear that assumptions are subject to change, apparently it is less obvious how we can (critically) reflect on assumptions, especially since they mostly operate outside of our awareness. This paper asks: How can we bring these hidden assumptions into awareness, so that they can be subject to change and transformation? The purpose of this paper is threefold: We need to (1) have a more nuanced understanding of how we can help adult learners in practice to explore their 'assumptive clusters' (Brookfield, 2000, p. 139); to (2) better understand what helps or prevents learners from transforming existing assumptions, and to (3) provide some concrete tools, that practitioners can use to enhance their (reflective) practice and teach transformatively.

Format: Paper Presentation


Saskia Eschenbacher, Akkon University of Applied Sciences Berlin
Session Date & Time: Thu, 07 Apr 2022 | 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EDT