Fostering Transformative Learning




Baumgartner, Lisa M.

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Texas State University Education Institute


Transformation is a much-used word in today’s world. Colleges, universities, social service organizations, private businesses, and other agencies proclaim that they transform individuals’ lives. Mezirow (2003) notes that transformative learning changes our assumptions and expectations to be “more inclusive, discriminating, open, reflective, and emotionally able to change” (p. 58). Transformative learning suggests life-altering changes in thinking. Examples may include Ku Klux Klan members renouncing their membership in the Klan and converting to Judaism or individuals recognizing that helping others is more important than acquiring material possessions. Transformative learning means seismic shifts in worldview (Hoggan, 2016; Mezirow, 2000). Certainly, as educators, we hope to foster transformative learning to expand students’ worldviews. In this article, I briefly describe Mezirow’s (2000) popular view of transformative learning as well as other lenses through which transformative learning has been considered. Next, I discuss the general outcomes of the transformative learning experience. I delineate Taylor’s (2009) core elements necessary to foster transformative learning and provide a few examples.



education, transformative learning, teaching, self-reflection, learning activities, Counseling, Leadership, Adult Education, and School Psychology


Baumgartner, L. M. (2022). Fostering transformative learning. [White paper]. Texas State University Education Institute.


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