PIDP 3100 Journal Category 3

“…some suggested strategies for engaging in critical reflection possibly leading to transformative learning are modeling and peer learning, storytelling and dialogue, coaching, and action learning conversations.”

Objective: What have you learned from reflecting on this particular quote? What has caught your attention?

Looking at this quote, it made me focus on the relationship between critical reflection and transformative learning. Critical reflection is the tool that the learner has to use to challenge their own ideologies in order for transformative learning to occur. With that challenge, the learner has much to question and it will give a reason to question their own beliefs on a certain subject. “In an instructional setting the tools at our disposal are to model and enable students to examine and critically assess their assumptions about themselves, the world, and their place in the world.” (Merriam, Sharan B., Bierema, Laura L., 2014, page 95)

Reflective: What did you realize about teaching as a result of this quote?

This quote gives numerous suggestions on strategies of critical reflection. Looking at those suggestions, they all involve interaction between peers and also with the instructor. Critical reflection involves a lot of questions and that prompts the class to find answers. To be an instructor who wants to use critical reflection in their classroom, you must be prepared have open dialogue and promote the class to push boundaries in how they think. It is also the instructor’s responsibility to create a positive learning environment where any idea, no matter how different or outlandish is not judged harshly by peers. That would be counterproductive in terms of reflecting and finding answers to have transformative learning occur. “There must be space for students to reflect, discuss, and engage in activities that draw upon their life experiences.” (Merriam, Sharan B., Bierema, Laura L., 2014, page 96)

Interpretive: What was your ‘Aha!’ moment when you read this quote? In what ways did this quote change your mind about being an adult educator? What was one key insight that you now have as a result of this quote?

Transformative learning is quite challenging as you have to evoke the learner to challenge their own belief system. To have a classroom of students using the methods of critical reflection suggested in the above quote does not guarantee that transformative learning will take place. Transformative learning can only take place within the learners themselves, although the suggested strategies may help the learner see things in a new perspective in order to ask themselves the important questions. “It is clear that the individual learner is at the heart of the process. It is the learner herself or himself whose attention turns to questioning and examining long-held assumptions about the self and the world in which one lives. Even if changing society is the ultimate goal as in the social change perspective of Friere and other activists, the process begins with individuals questioning and ultimately altering the way they see themselves in the world.” (Merriam, Sharan B., Bierema, Laura L., 2014, page 90)

Decisional: How has this quote and the insight that you have gained from reflecting upon it, influenced your notion of teaching or how you will teach in the future?

Between the theories of andragogy and transformational learning, the focus has their similarities. To me it reinforces the fact that when dealing with adult education, the focus has to be on the individual and the role of the educator is to facilitate the process.

Transformational learning deals with the learner in a state of self-realization. Using critical reflection as a tool, the educator must be supportive and positive to help the learner shed new light on perspectives they might not have thought about and possibly improve on their understanding of certain subjects through transformative learning. I believe the transformative learning promotes the idea of allowing people to learn in general. The idea that someone’s presumptions of themselves and the world can be changed due to open reflection and dialogue with others shows a willingness to learn and evolve.

(Merriam, Sharan B., Bierema, Laura L., 2014, page 95)
(Merriam, Sharan B., Bierema, Laura L., 2014, page 96)
(Merriam, Sharan B., Bierema, Laura L., 2014, page 90)


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