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ERIC Number: ED521051
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 294
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-7539-0
You Must Change Your Life: A Narrative and Theological Inquiry into the Experiences of Transformative Learning in Clinical Pastoral Education Students
Jones, Logan Carroll
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, North Carolina State University
The purpose of this qualitative research study is to explore and describe the experiences of transformative learning in seminary students and clergy who have participated in a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) residency program while providing pastoral care to patients in an acute care hospital setting. This research focuses on the affective dimension of transformative learning because the emotional intensity of the CPE learning process, coupled with the emotional intensity of the hospital setting, invites and challenges students to struggle with the meaning of the pastoral encounters they have with persons in crisis. Current theory and research in both transformative learning and in CPE lack the empirical understandings of the affective dimension of the transformative learning process. By attending to the role of emotions found in the participants' experiences in CPE, this research advances the understanding of the importance of the affective dimension of learning within transformative learning theory. In addition, since CPE is fundamentally theological education, this research also places the transformative learning process within the context and theological framework of the psalms of lament in order to identify the inherent theological nature of the learning process in CPE. Such placement further advances the understanding of the discipline of CPE. A method of discourse analysis was employed to shape a poem from the participant interview narratives. Poetry communicates through an economy of words the power and emotional content of an experience in ways prose cannot. The poems thus allow for the affective elements of an experience to be more fully expressed. The findings of the research suggest that participants in a CPE residency do tell and reflect on pastoral experiences that lead to and foster transformative learning and that these experiences are filled with emotion. Furthermore, the findings center on three key dynamics of the affective dimension of transformative learning: grief, soul, and authenticity. The findings suggest that the affective dimension of transformative learning is complex and complicated. The psalms of lament through a scheme of orientation-disorientation-new orientation parallel the affective dimension of transformative learning. There are four conclusions suggested by this study. One, there is evidence that the affective dimension of transformative learning does encompass the key dynamics of grief, soul, and authenticity as noted in the literature. There is also evidence to suggest there are other affective dynamics in the transformative learning process which need to be acknowledged. Two, there is evidence to support the inclusion of an eighth perspective of transformative learning. This new perspective is identified as the psycho-affective perspective. Three, the affective dimension of transformative learning is well integrated into the ten elements and processes of transformation as noted in the literature. The recognition of this integration allows for a more comprehensive understanding of the theory. Four, the psalms of lament provide a theological lens along with a meaningful description through which to understand the transformative learning process in CPE students. Overall, the inclusion of the affective dimension of transformative learning compels the theory of transformative learning to become more robust and more comprehensive. The evidence of this study suggests that the affective dimension of transformative learning is critical in the overall transformative learning process. More research into the many facets and perspectives of transformative learning theory will further the development and advancement of the theory. Likewise, more research into CPE will further extend the understanding of the CPE process. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations maybe 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: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A