The International Transformative Learning Association grants two awards at our bi-annual conference:

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.

Award Recipients

2022 Jack Mezirow Living Theory of Transformative Learning Award 

Eunice Nyamupangedengu
Constance Khupe

University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Title: Experiences of Applying for Promotion as Counter-Cultural Transformative Learning

Patricia L. Carter
University of Georgia
Title: Exploring Visceral Experiences of Physiology: The Role of Embodied Cognition in Fostering Transformative Learning

2018 Jack Mezirow Living Theory of Transformative Learning Award 

Randee Lipson Lawrence
Brian Dashew
Karen Doyle Grossman
Teachers College, Columbia University
Title: Restoring the Possibility Critical Reflection Discourse: Using Imagined Dialogues to Rebuild Connections Across Political Divides

Alyssa E. Motter
Cheryl K. Baldwin
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Title: A Model of Dialogic Embodiment: Transformative Autoethnographic Dance

Honorable Mention

Robert Charles Cox
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Title: TROPOS (Transformative Outcomes and Process Scale): An Instrument to Assess and Explore Transformative Learning

Fay Fletcher
Rebecca Shortt
Alicia Hibbert

University of Alberta
Title: Transformative Narratives of Emerging and Evolving Indigenous Relations

2016 Jack Mezirow Living Theory of Transformative Learning Award

Michel Alhadeff-Jones
Teachers College, Columbia University
Sunkhronos Institute, Switzerland
Title: Between Continuity and Discontinuity: Conceiving the Rhythms of Transformative Learning

Honorable Mention

Ingrid Andersen
Elizabeth J. Tisdell

Penn State University – Harrisburg
Title: Stories in the Agora: Transformative Learning through the Medium of Digital Storytelling of Personal Spiritual and Cultural Experiences

Cheryl K. Baldwin
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Title: Exploring Transformative Learning Praxis and Dignity in the Training Context for Lower-Wage Workers

Linden West
Canterbury Christ Church University, United Kingdom
Title: Transformative Learning (TL) at the Intersections of the Psychosocial: Comparing an Islamist and the Good TL Group

2014 Jack Mezirow Living Theory of Transformative Learning Award

Ted Fleming
National University of Ireland, Maynooth
Title: Axel Honneth and the Struggle for Recognition: Implications for Transformative Learning

Honorable Mention

Fergal Finnegan
National University of Ireland/Maynooth University
Title: Embodied Experience, Transformative Learning and the Production of Space

Chad Hoggan
North Carolina State University
Title: Clarifying Transformational Outcomes

Sherry Kennedy-Reid
The George Washington University
Title: Toward Redefining Individual-Collective Transformative Learning: A Duality Approach

Maura Striano
Allesandra Romano
Maria Strollo

University of Naples’ “Frederico II”
Title: The Theatre of the Oppressed: An Experiential Practice to Promote Transformative Learning?

Patricia Cranton Distinguished Dissertation Award

The ITLA also 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.

The 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.

The Patricia Cranton Distinguished Dissertation Award was established in 2018 and first conferred at the XIII International Transformative Learning Conference.

Award Recipients

2022 Patricia Cranton Distinguised Dissertation Award

Gloria Mbokota, Ph.D.
University of Pretoria, South Africa
Title: The Process of Transformative Learning in Executive Coaching: A Realist Evaluation

Katie Ross, Ph.D.
University of Technology Sydney, Australia
Title: Transforming the Ways We Create Change: Experiencing and Cultivating Transformative Sustainability Learning

Honorable Mention

Tanuj Negi, Ph.D.
FLAME University, India
Dissertation Title: An Empirical Study of Transformative Learning Resulting due to Profession Change

Tonya Ensign, Ph.D.
Pepperdine University, USA
Dissertation Title: The Seed of Transformation: A Disorientation Index

2018 Patricia Cranton Distinguised Dissertation Award

Mark D. Hathaway, Ph.D.
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education University of Toronto
Title: Cultivating Ecological Wisdom: Worldviews, Transformative Learning, and Engagement for Sustainability

Honorable Mention

Elisabeth M. Pope, Ph.D.
Department of Adult Education University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, United States
Dissertation Title: “This is a Head, Hearts, and Hands Enterprise:” Interfaith Dialogue and Perspective Transformation

Birgit Phillips, Ph.D
Department of Interdisciplinary Research and Continuing Education, The University of Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt, Austria
Dissertation Title: Learning by Going: Transformative Learning and Identity Development Through Long-term Independent Travel