Transformative education is supposed to embrace the views, attitudes, and meanings that students bring to learning activities. In this way, teachers try to achieve several goals. In particular, they prompt learners to share their experiences with each other. Additionally, students need to re-evaluate some of their worldviews and stereotypes. Moreover, in this way, teachers try to empower students who often feel marginalized. Admittedly, this approach cannot always be applied, especially if one speaks about disciplines that are not related to humanities. However, even in this case, teachers should make sure that students are not afraid of expressing their opinions. These are the main questions that should be discussed more closely.
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As a rule, the supporters of transformative education attempt to create an inclusive environment in which every student is able to express his/her views. In any case, these learners can represent different cultural and social groups. So, they can interpret the same issue from different perspectives. To a great extent, this approach can be applied to such disciplines as literature or history. It should be kept in mind that some learners are afraid of expressing their opinions.
In turn, educators should empower these students and help them become more open (Maringe & Gibbs, 2009, p. 41; Gardner & Kelly, 2008). In the long term, this openness can be important for cooperation between students (Maringe & Gibbs, 2009, p. 41). More importantly, they will be more willing to join their efforts in order to achieve change. These are some of the main details that can be distinguished.
This approach is beneficial because it enables students to understand the diversity of the community in which they live (Pacini-Ketchabaw, 2010, p. 162). In particular, they can see that people living in this community may have various values and attitudes. Moreover, transformative education encourages learners to question the assumptions that they often take for granted.
In this way, learners can overcome some of their prejudices and stereotypes (Taylor & Cranton, 2012, p. 136). This goal can be particularly important for people living in multicultural communities. It is possible to say that transformative education relies on the holistic principle according to which learners should learn more about their own identities, social relations, empathy, and so forth (Taylor & Cranton, 2012).
Certainly, the principles of this approach cannot always be applied, especially when a teacher has to introduce concepts that are not related to humanities. For instance, one can speak about natural sciences or mathematics because they make little room for subjective interpretation. This is one of the limitations that should be taken into account. Nevertheless, even under these circumstances, teachers can use the elements of transformative education.
For example, by encouraging learners to express their opinions, a teacher can help them develop their problem-solving skills. In many cases, students can be encouraged to offer their solutions to the task that a teacher sets. Very often, learners are reluctant to do it, especially if their views contradict the opinions of the majority. This is why much attention should be paid to the empowerment of students.
On the whole, this discussion indicates that transformative education is a very valuable approach to teaching and learning. By embracing the worldviews of students, educators can help students attain personal growth. This strategy can help learners become more empowered, and they will be more willing to take part in different group activities. More importantly, this approach is vital for promoting students’ openness and critical thinking. These are the main aspects that can be distinguished.
Gardner, M., & Kelly, U. (2008). Narrating Transformative Learning in Education. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Maringe, F., & Gibbs, P. (2009). Marketing Higher Education: Theory and Practice. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill International.
Pacini-Ketchabaw, V. (2010). Flows, Rhythms, and Intensities of Early Childhood Education Curriculum. New York, NY: Peter Lang.
Taylor, E., & Cranton, P. (2012). The Handbook of Transformative Learning: Theory, Research, and Practice. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.