Learning as Transformation: Critical Perspectives on a Theory in Progress / Edition 1

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In 1978, Jack Mezirow introduced the concept of transformative learning in his groundbreaking study of women who returned to community college to continue their education. As their understanding of personal, cultural, and social histories grew, so did the students' ability to modify their assumptions and expectations of learning. Since that time, transformative learning has inspired a significant body of research and theory. This volume continues the work begun over twenty years ago—revealing the impact of transformative learning on the theory and practice of adult education.

Fifteen of the field's top scholars and practitioners join Jack Mezirow in these pages. Together, they review the core principles of transformation theory, analyze the process of transformative learning, describe different types of learning and learners, suggest key conditions for socially responsible learning, explore group and organizational learning, and present revelations from the latest research. They also share real-world examples drawn from their own experiences as educators and assess the evolution of transformative learning in practice and philosophy. Learning as Transformation presents an intimate portrait of a powerful learning concept and invites educators, researchers, and scholars to consider the implications of transformative learning in their own professional work.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Over the last twenty years, Jack Mezirow has put transformational learning theory on the map, and he continues to stimulate significant intellectual activity in this area. This lively and highly readable book brings together scholars who have embraced Mezirow's theory within the field of adult education and beyond." (Carolyn Clark, associate professor of adult education, Texas A&M University)

"Provocative and illuminating, this book is a must read for adult educators seeking to understand and facilitate transformational learning. It showcases a stellar group of authors who not only engage each other and the reader in constructive discourse, but who also model the heart of the transformational learning process." (Sharan B. Merriam, Department of Adult Education, University of Georgia)

"Learning as Transformation goes to the heart of an age-old dilemma: the link between personal and social change and how we change ourselves to adapt to or challenge the circumstances that surround us." (Mark Tennant, professor of adult education, University of Technology, Sydney)

In 1978, the author introduced the concept of transformative learning in his groundbreaking study of women who returned to community college. Fifteen contributors join the author in reviewing core principles of transformation theory, analyzing the process of transformative learning, and describing different types of learning and learners. They suggest ideal conditions for social responsible learning, explore group and organizational learning, and share real- world experiences. Mezirow is affiliated with Teachers College, Columbia University. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787948450
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Series: Higher and Adult Education Series
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Jack Mezirow is emeritus professor of adult and continuing education at Teachers College, Columbia University. His previous books include Transformative Dimensions of Adult Learning, Fostering Critical Reflection in Adulthood, Last Gamble on Education, and others.

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Table of Contents


Learning to Think Like an Adult: Core Concepts of Transformation Theory (J. Mezirow).

What "Form" Transforms? A Constructive-Developmental Approach to Transformative Learning (R. Kegan).

Inequality, Development, and Connected Knowing (M. Belenky & A. Stanton).

Transformative Learning for the Common Good (L. Daloz).

Transformative Learning as Ideology Critique (S. Brookfield).


Teaching with Developmental Intention (K. Taylor).

Individual Differences and Transformative Learning (P. Cranton).

Transformation in a Residential Adult Learning Community (J. Cohen & D. Piper).

Creating New Habits of Mind in Small Groups (E. Kasl & D. Elias).

Organizational Learning and Transformation (L. Yorks & V. Marsick).


Analyzing Research on Transformative Learning Theory (E. Taylor).

Theory Building and the Search for Common Ground (C. Wiessner & J. Mezirow).

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