ERIC Number: ED373267
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
Emancipatory Learning of Change Agents: Context and Description.
Loughlin, Kathleen A.
A study was conducted to gain insight into the process that facilitates emancipatory education. The sample consisted of 24 Caucasian middle-class women who had experienced a transformation of consciousness related to women's issues and who were acting for the structural change of society through communications, politics, religion, or education. The women were identified through books and journals and networking. Data were gathered through open-ended interviews and a review of literature on emancipatory education, developmental psychology, and feminism. The data and literature review ascertained three prominent themes: (1) emancipatory learning and its facilitators are grounded in an experience of praxis that leads to social change; (2) both a psychological and a culture identity change may be part of emancipatory learning; and (3) women's psychological development and way of knowing may involve an experience of relatedness that is enhanced by intuitive activity. The findings of the study suggest that the essence of emancipatory learning for these women change agents was a transformation in their way of knowing. These women came to own an integrated knowing centered in an experience of the authentic self. When this knowing was grounded in a context of relatedness, new knowledge that critiqued dominant society was created. This knowledge then motivated them to act for social reconstruction. The implications of the study for educational practice include a challenge to adult educators to consider the experience of women in educational programs. Educators need to create opportunities where women can publicly name their alienating experiences and contribute to the reconstruction of educational systems. Another implication is that educators should encourage women to value their experience and to use that experience. Finally, educators should encourage the construction of knowledge that reflects an intuitive sense. (Contains 23 references.) (KC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Emancipatory Learning