Mezirow Transformative Theory And The Criticism Of Transformative Learning

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Being human is understanding how we learn about the world and utilizing that information to make meaning of our lives. In order to do that, we must understand the meaning of our experiences. According to Jack Mezirow, “Transformative Learning” is……It is the ability to take an experience, make sense of it, interpret it, and then use that interpretation to find a solution. “To make ‘meaning’ means to make sense of an experience, we make an interpretation of it. When we subsequently use this interpretation to guide decision-making or action, then making ‘meaning’ becomes ‘learning’” (Mezirow, 1998, p. 1). This paper will explain Mezirow Transformative Theory and the criticism of transformative learning. Transformative learning is a theory that…show more content…
They are disorienting dilemma, self-examination, critical assessment, recognition, exploration, planning of a course of action, acquisition of knowledge and skills, trying out new roles, building of competence and self-confidence, and reintegration into one’s life based on the new (Merriam, Caffarella, and Baumgartner, 2007, p. 136). For example, the case study on Karen was manifested in all of this steps. Although, he has four main elements to the process of transformative learning in which he distinguishes between them. The first one he calls “experience”, in which one actually gains of new knowledge and skill. The second one is “critical reflection” when the learner elaborates on existing knowledge and skills. The next main component is the “reflective discourse”, where the learner makes the revision of meaning schemes (beliefs or attitudes). The last main section is “action”, where the learner puts to practice the alteration of meaning perspectives (the big picture). The process of transformative learning is structured by this four parts that make up the sequence of learning (Merriam, Caffarella, and Baumgartner, 2007, p. 134). According to Jack Mezirow, “The learner must critically self-examine the assumptions and beliefs that have structured how the experience has been interpreted” (Merriam, Caffarella, and Baumgartner, 2007, p. 134). This is the process…show more content…
The basis of Coffman’s argument is that individual’s role of feeling has a lot to do with how they process the transformative learning. The ability to not let go of past experience will not allow the individual to move on. The focus on individual’s emotions is not being valued within the process of self-reflection. In Edward W. Taylor’s article Building upon the Theoretical Debate: A Critical Review of the Empirical Studies of Mezirow’s Transformative Learning Theory, Taylor suggested that “Coffman believes that without the expression and recognition of feeling, participants will not engage their new reality, leave behind past resentment, and begin critical reflection” (Taylor,

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