This assignment explores the learning theories of Mezirow and Bandura through the character
analysis of Malcolm X, portrayed by actor Denzel Washington from the film “Malcolm X”. The
focus is to examine the theoretical perspective of adult learning theories transformative learning
and that of social learning and how they impact character learning and development.
Applying Adult Learning Theory through A character Analysis
The film “Malcolm X,” produced by Worth, written and directed by Lee (1992) portrays the life of civil right’s leader Malcolm X as he makes his transformational journey from street hustling, jail, and imprisonment to later emerging as a leader for social change. While in prison, X becomes heavily involved in the Islamic movement and later meets Elijah Mohammed who is instrumental in his rapid climb to become Islam’s national spokesperson. His journey comes full-circle when after some oppositions, he disassociate himself from the Nation of Islam and embarks upon a pilgrimage to Mecca. While in Mecca X experiences another transformation that resonates throughout his life until his death in 1965 (Malcolm, 1992). By means of the events in this film, I will analyze the character Malcolm X in view of Mezirow’s transformational learning theory, and that of Bandura’s social learning theory to illustrate how theoretical perspectives can be used to explain character learning and development.
Mezirow, who is the developer of the transformative learning theory, asserted that the innate nature of humans is to necessitate comprehension and significance of the experiences encountered in life. Mezirow further contended that the transformative learning theory affords the learner the possibility to understand...
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...ch. Learning in adulthood: A comprehensive guide, 132-137. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass
Merriam S. B., Caffarella, R, S., & Baumgartner, L. M. (2007b). Social cognitive orientation. Learning in adulthood: A comprehensive guide, 287-291. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass
Merriam, S. B. (2004). The role of cognitive development in Mezirow’s transformational learning theory. Adult Education Quarterly, 55(1), 60-68
Mezirow, J. (1997). Transformative learning: Theory to practice. In Cranton, P. (Ed), In Transformative Learning in Action: Insights From Practice, New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education No. 74. (5-12).San Francisco CA: Jossey-Bass
Malcolm X (As told to Alex Haley). (1992). The Autobiography of Malcolm X. New York: Ballantine Books
Worth, M. (Producer), & Lee, S. (Director). (1992).Malcolm X. [Motion picture]. United States: Warner Brothers
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