Transformative Learning for Knowledge: From Meaning Perspectives to Threshold Concepts
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Mainstream transformative learning emphasizes personally significant learning and liberation from limited ways of being in the world. Reflecting humanistic and emancipatory philosophical commitments, this emphasis can make it difficult to appreciate the transformative potential of learning for and by knowledge, a type of transformation adults can experience in the process of learning occupations and disciplines. The analysis presented in this article is prompted by a small, qualitative study of transformative learning that highlights the role occupational knowledge can play in triggering and bestowing meaning upon personal change. While mainstream transformation theory illuminates aspects of this learning, the alternative theory of “threshold concepts” accounts for the part played by formal knowledge. It is argued that transformation theory can be enhanced by threshold concepts theory when it is shown that the transformative potential of formal knowledge can be viewed as consistent with humanist and emancipatory principles.
Journal of Transformative Education
© 2018 The Authors. Steven Hodge, Transformative learning for knowledge: From meaning perspectives to threshold concepts, Journal of Transformative Education, April 2018. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.
Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified
Philosophy of adult education