Charity Johansson and Mary Knight-McKenna present on transformative learning at international conference
Charity Johansson, professor of physical therapy, and Mary Knight-McKenna, professor of education, presented a paper at the 9th International Transformative Learning Conference in Athens, Greece, on May 29.
Titled “Does Transformative Learning Have a Parallel in Organizations?” the paper explores the degree to which tenets of individual transformative learning might be effectively applied to organizational behavior.
Transformative learning is generally defined as a process by which individuals critically analyze assumptions and engage in reflective discourse leading to a profound shift in perspective that alters their understanding of the world and their place within it. The authors utilized the Transdisciplinary Transformative Learning Model developed by Johansson to examine the parallels between individuals’ transformative experiences and those organizations may have as they grow and “learn.”
Pertinent questions for organizations were posed, including:
• What are the disorienting forces impinging on the organization that could stimulate the transformative process?
• What are the underlying assumptions of the organization that need to be questioned and probed?
• Is the organization using reflective discourse to further the process of transformative learning? and
• What actions signify the organization’s transformative learning and commitment to a greater goal or purpose?
Participants asked these questions of their own organizations and began to formulate answers leading to insights about their organizations’ transformative learning process.