Education and Transformation Essay
Transformative learning is the process of “using a prior interpretation to construe a new or revised interpretation of the meaning of one’s experience in order to guide future action" (Mezirow, 2003). It is also a process where “an education that is transformative redirects and reenergizes those who pause to reflect on what their lives have been and take on new purposes and perspectives” (Will McWhinney et al., 2003). Jack Mezirow’s central idea is the process “to make meaning from our experiences through reflection, critical reflection and critical self-reflection “ (Dirkx et al.,2006), Mezirow named this process perspective transformation. According to John M. Dirkx (2006) transformative learning is emotionally driven and focuses more on a deeper learning, his view suggests a more “integrated and holistic understanding of subjectivity, one that reflects the intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual dimensions of our being in the world” (Dirkx et al.,2006). Transformative learning is a process most individuals have experienced once in their lifetime and it is a process that I can closely relate to. My personal experience of transformative learning is closely relevant to John M Dirkx emotional approach to the process and Mezirow’s Subjective Reframing (self-reflective) (Dirkx et al.,2006).To demonstrate my personal transformative learning experience, I have included my story in this essay.
Education has always been an important factor in my life; unlike some of my peers I enjoy studying and learning. In high school, in year 10 I had to choose my year eleven and twelve subjects. Business studies in secondary school seemed very interesting, hence why I chose it as a year eleven and twelve subject. Throughout my entire education life, I have always had a great interest in history whether it was ancient or modern so I also chose to study modern history. For me both subjects were very important as they made a lot of difference to my ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank). However with the two subjects I had two completely different experiences, which is related to transformative learning. Firstly, with business studies I had a teacher who lacked discipline and she was a “vessel full of knowledge and information” and we were her bank account, where she would pour her wisdom and knowledge to us students; this method is called the banking method (personal communication, 5 August, 2013). Her teaching method included reading information from the textbook and not explaining in detail what certain terms mean and how they relate to our learning. Personally, I would walk out of the classroom as an empty ‘vessel’ and feel like I wasted fifty minutes of my learning time. Each lesson it got harder and harder to concentrate because I did not understand anything that I was supposedly learning, so my other peers easily distracted me. Unfortunately for me, my teacher kept thinking that I was the main source of distraction. Until today I still do not know why she strongly believed that I distracted everyone else, maybe it was because I did not interact with classroom topics - I did not learn anything and that is why I could not participate in class discussions. Each lesson, I had to sit in the front row by myself or next to a student that was not my friend; some lessons I would not even speak a word but my teacher would still pick on me for turning my head to the direction of the noise a student was making. By the end of year eleven, I absolutely hated my teacher but I never argued with her, I just tried my best to stay focused and teach myself. My parents have always told me to respect my teachers but to also stand up for myself in cases where I felt isolated and disadvantaged. Three months before the HSC (Higher School Certificate), I finally had enough and stood up for myself. It was a Monday morning, I had double period of Business studies and as always I had to sit in the front row and not...
Bibliography: Cooper, S. (n.d). Transformational learning. Theories of learning in educational psychology. Retrieved from http://www.lifecircles-inc.com/Learningtheories/humanist/mezirow.html (accessed 5 September 2013)
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