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ERIC Number: ED515070
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 252
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-8928-0
Transformative Learning and Spirituality: A Heuristic Inquiry into the Experience of Spiritual Learning
Campbell, Karen P.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Capella University
The purpose of this heuristic study was to explore the ways in which spirituality informed and impacted educators' own experience of learning as a transformative inner encounter. It inquired into the experience of learning from a spiritual perspective in order to determine the extent to which transformative learning could be described as a spiritual process, and the extent to which spiritual transformation and learning were related. Semi-structured interviews were conducted, transcribed, and analyzed for 9 educators who were involved for 5 or more years in secular or spiritual learning endeavors, and who were members of The Summit Lighthouse, a spiritually focused organization. A conceptual framework that incorporated theories of adult education, transformative learning, spirituality in education, and spirituality was used to analyze the interview data using a heuristic methodology. Seven themes reported by 5 or more co-researchers emerged from thematic analysis of the data: Spiritual learning produces soul growth; (a) spirituality, learning, and spiritual learning are alike; (b) spiritual learning involves transformation; (c) spiritual learning touches the heart; (d) spiritual learning involves pain; (e) spiritual learning can impact education; and (f) spiritual learning can change the world/society. Six patterns of characteristics reported by 5 or more co-researchers were also revealed: (a) Feelings; (b) bodily states or shifts in bodily awareness; (c) time and space factors; (d) events, situations, and people; (e) dimensions of the experience; and (f) qualities of the experience. The analysis revealed congruence between (a) spirituality, learning, and spiritual learning, and (b) between transformative learning and transformative spirituality. The findings from this study imply that transformative learning theory should be expanded to include the role of spirituality as a potential major factor in the process. Based on the findings, the researcher proposed a new term, "spiritually transformative learning", to define transformative learning when viewed from the perspective of spirituality. Recommendations for further research to validate the proposed terminology and expansion of transformative learning theory are also presented. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A