Transformative Learning Theory is an adult education based theory that suggests ways in which adults make meaning of their lives. It looks at “deep learning,” not just content or process learning, as critical as those both are for many kinds of learning, and examines what it takes for adults to move from a limited knowledge of knowing what they know without questioning (usually from their cultures, families, organizations and society). It looks at what mechanisms are required for adults to identify, assess and evaluate alternative sources of information, often sources that may looks at how adults can identify, assess and evaluate new information, and in some cases, reframe their world-view through the incorporation of new knowledge or information into their world-view or belief system.
This website provides a comprehensive overview of Transformative Learning Theory through the lens of a number of scholars who have made a significant contribution to the field. There are other scholars, researchers and practitioners, who, while not found on this site, have made, and are making significant contributions to the field also.
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Photographs: Sue Lorenz and Scott Wallace
Special Thanks to Patricia Cranton, Ph.D.