ERIC Number: EJ1106949
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Freedom to Connect: Insight Into the Existential Dimension of Transformative Learning in a Graduate Seminar
Sohn, Brian K.; Plaas, Kristina; Franklin, Karen; Dellard, Tiffany; Murphy, Brenda; Greenberg, Katherine H.; Greenberg, Neil B.; Pollio, Howard R.; Thomas, Sandra P.
Journal of Transformative Education, v14 n3 p178-199 Jul 2016
Previous analyses of transformational learning (TL) focused on rational or nonrational processes such as critical reflection on an uncomfortable personal situation or emotional learning. In this phenomenological study, researchers examined existential dimensions of TL. Individual interviews were analyzed to identify the lived experiences of eight participants in a graduate seminar. Participants described their experience to be "different" from other courses and "relevant and applicable" to their lives. They found the "atmosphere" of the course to be "free" from institutional obligations and "open" to ideas. They were "collaborative" in exploring course content and "connected" with other students, "safe" to share perspectives and understandings, and "comfortable" to explore content in their own way. Study findings suggest that discomfort is not necessary for TL to occur when students build relationships and learn in a safe and open classroom climate and that such an environment supported spontaneous application of course content to student lives.
Descriptors: Transformative Learning, Graduate Students, Seminars, Interviews, Student Attitudes, Phenomenology, Course Content, Classroom Environment, Student Centered Learning, Cognitive Processes, Safety, Higher Education, Case Studies
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A