Measuring Transformative Learning: Part 1 #musdigi

This, the fourth post in a series looking at transformative learning, unpacks some of the literature around measuring transformative learning based on the work of Stuckey, Taylor and Cranton (2013).

Mezirow, the original proponent of this theory ‘… distinguishes between four kinds of learning: the acquisition of new knowledge and skills, the elaboration on existing knowledge and skills, the revision of meaning schemes (beliefs and values), and the revision of meaning perspectives (a larger view of the world)’ (Kroth and Cranton, 2014, p.1).

Most research into transformative learning has been qualitative in nature – retrospective interviews with subject as storyteller. These methods have been further developed to include approaches such as case studies, narrative enquiry, longitudinal studies and mixed-method studies.

While qualitative methods are useful, they can be time consuming and quite narrow in focus, with small sample sizes. To address this, Stuckey, et al (2103) developed a quantitative survey instrument to allow ‘… educators and scholars the means to determine more accurately what strategies have the potential to foster transformative learning’ (p.213). Survey items were written based on the table below (110 items!), and rated on a four-point Likert scale (1=mostly disagree / 4=mostly agree) coupled with two open-ended questions to ‘… focus people on a specific life-changing event (transformative learning experience) that they could consider as they rated each of the statements’ (p.218).

stuckey et al p217

From Stuckey, et al, 2013, p.217

The only sample questions I could find in this article were some examples of outcomes (such as shifting the way they see things) and process (such as critical reflection) as in the table below.

stuckey et al p222

From Stuckey, et al, 2013, p.222

So, in starting to think about measuring transformative learning, perhaps using a modified version of the Stuckey, et al survey either alone or in conjunction with narrative interviews / storytelling, AND/OR an adapted version of significant conversation events and categories of talk (Kelly, 2017) via a self-report questionnaire AND/OR developing questions that unpack Mezirow’s four kinds of learning (Kroth and Cranton, 2014)?? Some food for thought…



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