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ERIC Number: EJ1051923
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Dec
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
ISSN: ISSN-1938-8926
Steps along the Journey: Documenting Undergraduate White Women's Transformative Processes in a Diversity Course
Doucet, Fabienne; Grayman-Simpson, Nyasha; Shapses Wertheim, Samantha
Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, v6 n4 p276-291 Dec 2013
This article documents the transformation of cognitive and relational dispositions within a group of 14 White female undergraduate students ranging in age from 18 to 21 years and enrolled in a semester-long diversity course. Using Mezirow's transformative learning theory as an interpretive frame to guide our phenomenological analysis of written assignments, data revealed that students experienced multiple cognitive and relational transformative processes. Findings suggest that transformative learning theory's (Kitchenham, 2008; Mezirow & Associates, 2000) framework around processes of transformation is a useful analytical framework for capturing students' unique transformative learning processes or journeys. Findings further suggest that, students' relationships with members of cultural communities previously unfamiliar to them were an important part of students' transformative journeys. These relationships provided students with tangible experiences that assisted them in shifting their worldviews and arriving at greater understanding of how inequality, oppression, and prejudice impact the daily lives of others. Finally, the findings indicate that instructors' perspectives on what accounts for a transformative process is often not aligned with students' opinions of their own growth and development. The study concludes that transformation is a process, and that all steps are a necessary part of a transformative experience.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A