University of Tasmania
whole_MarksSusanJane2005_thesis.pdf (15.41 MB)

An exploration of the nature of transformative learning and transformative pedagogy in a high school English context

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posted on 2023-05-26, 16:49 authored by Marks, SJ
This study explores the nature of learning that transforms established frames of reference for those who engage in it. It also explores the nature of pedagogy that is likely to foster this transformative learning. It is based on the explorations of the teacher-researcher as she reflects on the learning experiences of some of her students and on her own teaching practice. The teacher-researcher's reflections emanate from her experiences teaching high school English to Years 10 and 11 students within a co-educational school in Sydney. Through engaging in hermeneutic phenomenological research, the teacher-researcher explores the types of learning contexts and pedagogical approaches that may be effective in fostering transformative learning. The literature review highlights the fact that explorations of the nature of transformative learning and transformative pedagogy have occurred almost exclusively within the domain of adult education and many researchers have expressed the view that this is a uniquely adult phenomenon. In exploring the transformative learning experiences of students between the ages of fifteen and seventeen, this study calls into question the view that only adults may experience transformative learning. It also raises awareness about the significance of transformative pedagogy in a high school context. The study highlights a number of pedagogical practices that are potentially transformative and concludes that transformative learning is most effectively fostered through relational forms of knowing emerging in dialogical learning contexts. Critical reflection is seen as being central to transformative learning and the importance of both affective and cognitive dimensions in the process of critical reflection is emphasised. Within a high school English context, the value of introducing students to a range of texts that may expose them to alternative ways of seeing is highlighted. The study demonstrates that integral to transformative pedagogy is the importance of providing students with both challenging learning experiences and with scaffolds designed to equip them to meet these challenges. The personally transformative nature of engaging in teacher-research is also highlighted and this is seen to have implications for models of staff professional development within schools. Reference is made to the limitations of the study, including those associated with being a teacher-researcher. As with other phenomenological studies, the findings do not purport to have direct and specific relevance to other contexts, although they may prove interesting to others interested in fostering transformative learning through transformative pedagogy.


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Copyright 2005 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (PhD.)--University of Tasmania, 2005. Includes bibliographical references

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