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Transformational Learning Running head: Transformational Learning in Dr. Buskey's Online Courses


Transformational Learning in Dr. Buskey's Online Courses EDL 806--Advanced Research Methods Dr. Meagan Karvonen Patricia Brown, Heidi Von Dohlen, Wendy Edney, Megan Keiser, Lori Lambert, Karen Sumner December 3, 2007

Transformational Learning


Executive Summary: The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which Dr. Frederick Buskey's online MSA and principal add-on licensure courses were transformational for his students. Transformational learning is one method of instruction that relies on the engagement of teacher and student in critical reflection of themselves. Qualitative data was collected via interviews of students from his EDL 620 and 625 courses from spring semester 2007. Eight interviews were conducted, and recurring themes were coded into thematic headings related to transformational learning. Dr. Buskey's syllabi and discussion boards from these classes were reviewed and coded under themes as well. Qualitative analysis found that while promoting transformation was clearly a goal of Dr. Buskey in his course development, reactions in interviews were mixed in terms of personal growth and change. Qualitative trends revealed a need for structure, the stressed moral imperative, authentic assignments, mixed effects on course participants, and communication. Conclusions reached were mixed regarding the structure and experiences of students in Dr. Buskey's online courses.

Transformational Learning Introduction Online courses are gaining popularity across the United States due to their convenience


and ability to reach students far removed geographically from a college or university. However, does online instruction foster higher-level thought such as that found in transformational learning? This study is a qualitative evaluation of Dr. Buskey's online courses in school administration and the extent to which students report having been provided transformational learning. The add-on licensure program at Western Carolina University provides the opportunity for students to obtain licensure via solely online coursework. Because of the availability and accessibility of these online courses, the professor's determination of where students are in their learning process at the beginning of a course and where they end, both in their role as educators and as human beings in a global society, is often difficult to ascertain. In order to improve the online learning experience and provide or assist in transformation for students, the researchers chose to interview members of EDL 620 and EDL 625 Spring 2007 courses. Additional questions were asked for students that completed a course last spring and are also enrolled in a current course. The researchers sought to determine whether or not students reported that transformational learning had occurred from the online learning experience, and elements within the two courses that potentially led to transformational learning experiences for students. Dr. Buskey expressed a desire to learn more about the educator's ability to transform students and his role in transforming and improving the world around us. Specifically, in the world of technology, when face-to-face contact is unlikely, he hoped to learn what would make the online learning experience most useful and evolutionary. The researchers sought to discover how, in the online world, students best learn and become inspired to go out and "do good." The purpose of this study, then, was to determine the extent to which students reported that Dr.

Transformational Learning Buskey had provided them with the opportunity to become transformational teachers and learners. Additionally, the researchers sought to discover what he can do to improve and develop more opportunities for his students to transform their own educational process in their


professional roles as educators, and how as an instructor he can best facilitate this movement and growth. Literature Review Transformational learning, according to Johnson-Bailey and Alfred (2006), is "about change..." (p.50). They proposed that the "ability to promote and engender change is connected to an interplay of power between the student and the teacher: How does the student gage his or her position? How does the student perceive the teacher's position? What does the student have to gain or lose by changing? And how will the student's interests be affected by changing" (p. 50-51). The above questions elicit the root of transformational learning experience--the interplay of student and teacher, where each is in the process of his or her own learning, and where each is willing to go. Transformational learning is a type of rational thought that comes from continued learning over time, yet it produces lasting changes in our beliefs, thought processes, and actions. If successful, our points of view can and will continually change throughout the transformational learning process. Changes may pertain to politics, religion, and even perceived importance of certain issues. Without this deep level of change, in Mezirow's argument, no meaningful learning change can take place (Mezirow, 2004). Mezirow (1998) purported a view that transformational learning is "about emancipating ourselves from these taken-for-granted assumptions about social being. It involves bringing the sources, nature, and consequences of this received wisdom into critical awareness so that appropriate action--including social action--can be taken" (p. 5).

Transformational Learning


Mezirow (1998) also encouraged locating other people who are in a similar stage, who are ready to reflect and be transformed, in order to facilitate the transformational process. The increasing use of the online classroom has offered a bridge to connect learners across space and time, but also offers a challenge to traditional pedagogy. Best practices in online instruction suggest that teachers must construct courses that offer students opportunities to build a learning community in order to increase student engagement (Lebaron and Miller, 2004). LeBaron and Miller (2004) and Anderson (1999) suggest that specific actions and components in the course design can facilitate this community and collaboration. Different elements might make one approach more transformational than another. Our study seeks to understand how one professor's course design encourages or discourages transformational learning, and seeks to suggest ways that the course might be a vehicle for transformational learning. While transformational learning as a concept is intrinsically an educational process, transformative theory in general deals with allowing oneself to be altered, to open one's mind to possibilities not heretofore considered. While a certain amount of maturity and/or readiness must be present in the learner, the community of learners can encourage the process through shared learning and reflection, inquiry based learning, and focus on the good of humanity (Mezirow, 1998). While transformational learning is facilitated through group cohesiveness, the growing ability to receive formal education online brings to question whether a transformation is possible without face-to-face contact. Anderson (1999) proposed online courses be focused on learning, content, and community. He suggests instructors view students as "constructors of their own knowledge guided by teachers who behave more as 'agent provocateurs' than as informational transmission vehicles" (p. 1). In developing online learning communities, Lebaron and Miller

Transformational Learning (2004) stressed methods such as icebreakers, weekly e-mail updates, on-line organizers, weekly


audio-video greetings, and presence of a course tutor. Lebaron and Santos (2005) contended that learning activities, besides creating community, should also "involve students actively in confronting professional issues emerging from their own experiences and needs" (p. 1). It is these "real-world experiences" on which many in the transformational learning field have concentrated. Particularly in online learning experiences, transformation depends on the maturity of the learner in question. As Mezirow (1997) noted, "Learning is a social process, but it takes place within the individual learner" (p. 12). Mezirow (1997) stated the adult educator is responsible for encouraging the transformative process through leading others to make informed decisions. He proposed that the educator who has willing but unable subjects must help learners understand how to change and then enact change, or, as Johnson-Bailey and Alfred (2006) explained, "provide opportunities for people to understand their frames of reference and use that knowledge for their own transformation" (p. 52). Mezirow (2004) also asserted that a certain level of maturity and mental development is necessary for transformational learning to even begin. He noted that most individuals are well past the age of thirty before their thinking has sufficiently matured to allow the transformative learning process to occur. In relation to adult learners, Johnson-Bailey and Alfred (2006) encouraged "an environment built on reciprocity" (p. 52), one that is safe, built upon mutual respect, and encouraging of reflection and critical thinking. They also stressed that an instructor cannot hope to affect change and growth in others without first understanding himself. This aspect of transformational teaching, according to Johnson-Bailey and Alfred, is often an unconsidered aspect of the process. They encouraged anyone hoping to transform others through formal

Transformational Learning educational experience to first reflect on themselves as learners, and the culture in which they live and work. By first pondering oneself, they believe an instructor can better share in the learning process and "jointly construct knowledge, engage in self-reflection, and practice selfrevelation" (p. 56).


The worldview of the teacher is embedded in the learning process and within the teacherstudent relationship. Therefore, it is essential that the teacher examine his or her own worldview and ethical stance. The concept of transformational learning among adults implies that both the teacher and student learn and change through the experience (Ettling, 2006). This change, and the purpose behind encouraging such growth, is the crux of transformational learning. As noted by Johnson-Bailey and Alfred (2006), "Our dream for our students is that they use what they learn in our classrooms to become active, informed, and responsible world citizens" (p. 53). Herein lies the purpose of our research--what methodology an instructor can embed within a course, particularly in an online environment, to encourage transformational experiences in students so that they will not only share this learning with others whom they go on to educate, but will become better citizens in our global society in general. Procedures The researchers' rationale for conducting a qualitative study involves a specific need for rich data with depth regarding student thought and opinion about Dr. Buskey's online learning experience. The researchers wanted to gain insight into themes regarding transformational learning that could emerge only during the process of interview and personal examination of discussion boards and course syllabi. The questions that guided the research process allowed for an array of potential themes to develop based on interviewee responses. In the quest to both explore the central phenomenon of transformational process in online learning and understand

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how it might be improved, the researchers chose to conduct a qualitative, emerging theme study. The sample for the study came from Dr. Buskey's two online courses from the spring 2007 semester at Western Carolina University. Purposeful sampling based on the research questions and focus led the researchers to select students from Dr. Buskey's EDL 620 and EDL 625 courses who were seeking either MSA or principal add-on licensure. All of these students were invited to participate in the interview process. Eight students volunteered and were interviewed formally by the researchers. Interviews were conducted in multiple locations in Henderson and Buncombe counties. In addition, researchers conducted a document study of syllabi and discussion boards from Dr. Buskey's EDL 620 and 625 courses in the spring 2007 semester to determine whether themes similar to the interview themes emerged. The researchers requested approval for the study through the campus Institutional Review Board (IRB). A description of the proposed study was submitted along with a sample consent form. The consent form detailed how the participants' confidentiality would be maintained. Included in the description of the proposed study were the research questions and the purpose of the study. Additionally, sample questions were submitted so the IRB would know the types of questions that would be asked. Course syllabi for EDL 620 and 625 and online discussion board postings were analyzed to ascertain whether the goals, readings, and assignments of these two courses produced transformational learning experiences. Dr. Buskey provided the researchers with the course syllabi and selected online discussion board postings for assignments that he felt provided evidence of transformational learning. Dr. Karvonen, the researchers' instructor, to ensure anonymity, deleted identifying information within the discussion postings. Dr. Karvonen emailed students who took Dr. Buskey's EDL 620 and/or EDL 625 and

Transformational Learning asked them to participate in this study. She gave them two of the researchers' email addresses


for them to contact if they would be willing to participate in the study. In addition, Dr. Karvonen provided the researchers with a list of students who had taken EDL 620 and/or EDL 625 with Dr. Buskey. Several students' names were recognized and personally contacted by the researchers to ask for participation. Eight students expressed a desire to participate and did so. All eight participants were asked the same questions, which appear in Appendix A. Seven of the eight interviews were taped, either from a face-to-face or phone interview, and then transcribed. The eighth interview was conducted via the internet, and a copy of the online discussion was included with the other transcriptions. After the interviews were transcribed, they were posted for the group of researchers to review. The interviewers developed a list of themes that were present in at least two of the interviews. Then, quotes were included from the transcriptions into each of the themes. It quickly became apparent that the interviewees had given widely varied opinions. What, to some, was a positive experience or component of the course was to others a negative one. It was noted that students who had taken the aforementioned courses with Dr. Buskey and are currently enrolled in one of his courses gave more favorable comments about his courses. After a collective group review of the literature concerning transformational learning and the development of a working definition of the term, Dr. Buskey was contacted for an interview. This was for the purpose of ascertaining his ideas for the study and the data he wished to find concerning his students and their transformations in learning and practice after leaving his classes. Two online classes were selected for use in the study. Two sections of EDL 620 and EDL 625 were taught solely as online classes by Dr. Buskey in the semester prior to the completion of

Transformational Learning


this study. Following further contact with Dr. Buskey concerning the study and its direction, syllabi were obtained for analysis from both classes. In accordance with the purpose of the study, gauging the transformational learning of students after completing either course, themes pertaining to lasting, lifelong changes in thinking and behavior were searched for in both syllabi. Coding was used with both syllabi to identify pertinent words, phrases, and themes related to the study's purpose. In conjunction with the Institutional Review Board application, a request was made for more data for analysis in conjunction with the two syllabi. Student assignments for completion from both classes were thus obtained for additional study. Additionally, an addendum was submitted for the IRB requesting anonymous student postings to class discussion boards in order to further ascertain student ideas concerning the lasting impact of class assignments on the future development of their own thinking and behavior. These student postings were received and were also considered as study data with the course syllabi and student assignments. Again, coding for key words, phrases, and concepts was completed on these assignments and postings. Themes were found in these documents as they were in the analysis of the syllabi. Finally, all three sources of data were analyzed in conjunction in order to develop overarching themes that transcended all three sources of data. These were found and used to complete a narrative analysis of the transformational learning components and premises from work assigned and posted for both EDL 620 and EDL 625. Findings Several major themes emerged from an examination of the syllabi, online postings, and interview data for both EDL 620 and EDL 625. These themes are tied to the three overarching ideas essential for transformational learning to occur: self-reflection by the student, application

Transformational Learning of learning to one's own life and belief system, and lasting changes in thinking leading to changes in behavior. A beginning theme in both syllabi is examination of the individual's current thinking. Situations are produced for examination and the student is asked to consider his or her own


reactions and current thinking on the topics. Students are then led through group discussions and various processes that prompt them to consider other points of view and additional factors within the given situations. These conflicts and dilemmas lead the individual to a clarification of thought that must be present before any substantive change can occur. Related to the theme of clarification of thought is the idea of self-analysis. Class members were constantly asked to examine themselves and their own reactions to situations and to the people involved. This was in the form of reactions to individuals in positions of power or to situations in which a person may seem powerless. Advocacy for others and for ideas in situations where that advocacy is needed then becomes an additional product of this selfanalysis. Self-examination and analysis forces the individual to clarify thinking and to take a position in those thoughts as to the issues of right and wrong, strength and weakness, and the creation and use of true power. A good example of self-examination is assignment 5.3 from the syllabus for EDL 620, in which each class member is asked to sit in total silence for two hours simply for the purpose of reflection into the student's own thoughts and practices. Some students felt too overwhelmed by assignments, however, to give enough time for such self-examination. One student stated, "Frankly, I think that we were always in such a hurry to get to the next project that I don't think we spent enough time on the reflection." Following from the themes of clarification and self-analysis of the students' thinking, observation of others in positions of power is a component of both syllabi that forced students in

Transformational Learning both classes to see the realities involved with school-based positions of authority. Only by observing the good and the bad can the individual begin to formulate real ideas of the school


leader he or she will truly become. In EDL 620, students are asked to read an article about power by Tauber. After a few postings and a discussion the five power bases: coercive, reward, legitimate, referent, and expert, Buskey asked, "...If you could use just one type of power, what would it be? And what would be the second choice?" Students stated and defended their positions and perspectives. Dialogue was in depth and passionate, indicating students were truly examining their own positions on power as well as the positions of others, which may lead to transformational learning. In the syllabus for EDL 625, students are asked to consider and describe the best and worst leader they have ever seen. Postings include students defining leadership and analyzing types of leadership. After discussing the best and worst leaders they have known, they are asked to reflect upon, "What two terms (regarding leadership) will people who know you apply to you"? Upon completion of an assignment such as this, the individual can only begin to formulate ideas concerning the type of leader he or she will be when analyzing the bad as well as the good. Assignments within the syllabi encourage this to come into perspective for the student and encourage the student to start with their own reflection as a point for being critical of others. In the syllabus for EDL 620, the observations of leaders changed to that of observing leadership by reading court cases and the actions taken on issues by both sides. Students were asked to take positions in legal cases and controversial issues (assignments 3.2 and 3.3) and to propose solutions and resolutions to given issues. In doing so, the student must be able to see all points of view along with the legal aspects of cases. They then had the responsibility of considering what is best for all parties involved. Decisions must then be made as to the students'

Transformational Learning positions on issues including free speech, academic freedom, or any other aspect of an administrator's duties and choices. Postings indicating transformational learning from these


assignments included, "I agree with Stader that a firm knowledge of legal and ethical principals and healthy reflection will help us face these challenges. I would say that this course has helped strengthen those aspects of my life." Another student posted, "This course has been extremely beneficial in helping me to see the big picture. I hope that I (and my staff) never lose sight of it." Another student stated, "This chapter gave me a better view of all the responsibilities that leaders have to balance every day." Yet another student posted, "After reading the section, What's Legal and What's Right (or Wrong), it made me realize that I am as guilty as my administrator when she asks us to do things that are not morally right." Throughout EDL 620 and 625, after each student formulated and considered his or her own thinking and positions on leadership and crucial issues, discussions with other students in the class became the next step via "coffee table" discussions online. In assignment 2.3 for EDL 625, students discussed their ideas of leadership with those already in leadership positions. Defense of positions as observed by and discussed with others may help an individual see his or her own strengths, weaknesses, and patterns of thinking. Self-understanding, as demonstrated in these assignments, led to clarification in thought for the students, which then may lead to transference to real life situations under this theory. This chance to engage in discussions across the state ranked as one of the most preferred methods for sharing between students and course content. Students noted in their interview responses that this reflection was an element of Dr. Buskey's assignments, calling the environmental scan an "awesome project." This project required that students move beyond their own vantage point and "transform" their perspective. Other responses noted, "It was a challenge for me, but it forced me to take an outside look in at

Transformational Learning the school I was at...not just from the teachers' perspective and what were the strengths or weaknesses of the school, not just as a member of School Improvement Team or a teacher, but also as a parent or child." Assignments in both courses share a theme of real-world application within career and


community positions by forcing students to consider lasting, workable changes and solutions for situations. Culture both inside and outside school walls was considered, as in task 4.1 and 4.2 for EDL 625. For both of the classes, students were asked to consider all aspects of school leadership positions ­ physical, cultural, social, legal, managerial, and how working with and within all those facets leads to true leadership. In addition to the continuing theme of student self-examination and position clarification, school leadership was an overarching theme from both syllabi. Students examined responsibility within positions of school leadership, and possible lasting effects were considered. Part of this idea of real world application was the concept of the "moral imperative." One student noted in an interview "I really like that he has you focus on the ethical and moral side of things, because if you have a grounding in that then you can use the critical thinking framework for other day to day tasks...I think that the emphasis is good because I can see how ethics and morals get lost in day to day and he makes you think about the bigger picture...If my school gets better, we all get better. This rising tide lifts us all." This student showed that she felt transformed and even saw a potential for the focus on moral imperative to impact her whole staff. One student believed, though, by presenting the moral imperative in terms of case studies of famous historical figures, Buskey actually undermined his cause. As an interview response, a student stated, "There were a lot of theories about the moral imperative and you know, he referred to reading about Ghandhi and Martin Luther King...but it didn't feel practical to me. It

Transformational Learning didn't feel like real life and it was hard to follow some of that..." A second student shared this


impression, and stated, "I don't think they were applicable. They were nice readings...but he was not able to help me as a student make the connection between how Ghandhi's or MLK's leadership should influence who I am as a school leader. As the semester progressed, assignments in both classes led to another theme in the form of adaptation of thought and actions resulting from careful thought, discussion, and proposed actions. Many assignments from both classes, such as 4.1 for EDL 625 and 4.3 for EDL 620 forced students to propose how they would personally handle specific situations. Learning is thus being proposed to produce shifts in thinking and therefore in actions. Included in this theme was a view that all components of administrative positions, even the mundane ones such as textbook inventories and financial matters, must be examined and considered as to how a school leader might carry out theses tasks. Concurrently, the students are required to look at all these facets of the administrator's job, adapting things they may change and accepting situations over which they may have no control. Another theme that emerged was the theme of change ­ change in an individual's thinking, change in an individual's actions, and change that may be created in the position, school, or community that may influence the administrator's position. In the syllabus for EDL 620, assignment 4.3 was devoted to the individual's presence in a specific situation and how their decisions within that situation may change the actions and perspectives of other people. Here, the student was forced to confront his or her own role in schools, present and future, and the changes that they can individually truly create. These change experiences and ideas then led to growth in the individual's perspective and vision for the impact that one individual leader can make on a school, whether directly or indirectly. Students even noted that Dr. Buskey himself

Transformational Learning


would change the structure of the course and assignment based on feedback from the participants in his course. One subject noted, "...We do a survey at the end of each learning module and he allows you to list what you liked or didn't like. He makes changes to meet the needs of the class....He tries to accommodate and takes feedback." Some students, however, noted this adaptability negatively, and stated, "There was definitely a feeling in his last semester's class that the content of the course was coming together as we went through the course. Yes, there was a syllabus at the beginning of the course, but it didn't really tell you what the directions were...He was trying to be responsive to learners, but it was almost too reactive to be really helpful." Another student agreed that the lack of continuity from the beginning of the course to the end was detrimental, stating, "there wasn't an overall view of what we were supposed to get out of that class and what we were supposed to move through it." Some students, however, appreciated this flexibility and lack of structure, and one stated, "The assignments that have made the biggest difference for me have been the ones where he has given us broader guidelines and then we develop something on our own that is related to our seems more real world applicable." Students posted emotional responses after reading Starratt and completing the Chapter 4.3 assignment. They stated the reading was affirming and presented hope for being present, authentic, and responsible. One student posted that he/she had not been "present" when speaking with a colleague. After reading the chapter, the student went to that colleague, gave the colleague his/her undivided attention and was completely present during the conversation. The result was that the conversation was much more productive. The student stated, "This is a lesson I will remember." Another student stated, "I think this may be an essentially hard task for me, being fully

Transformational Learning present." That student then went on to discuss how administrators should be affirming in their


presence with others. Other postings included quotes such as, "Can I do and be all the things he (Starratt) has outlined?" and "It helped to explain the values that make some educators extraordinary leaders." Wrestling with some essential questions, these assignments required deep reflection and appeared to have created transformational learning opportunities for some of Dr. Buskey's students. All these overarching ideas and themes lead to the final theme of lasting change: for the individual as a leader and as a more thoughtful human being. Both syllabi presented applications for real world change and examine learning as a continuous process. What the student thinks, says, or does now is not the only consideration. Each student was encouraged to examine the things they and others do now with a goal of producing lasting changes in thinking that will create changes in actions when they are filling leadership roles in schools. In the Moral Magnetism Reflection assignment for EDL 620, students' postings indicated lasting changes. One student stated, After reevaluating the self-assessment in P3 I found a bigger change in my way of thinking and my actions than I anticipated. The main place where I found improvement was in my perception of my influence, not only on the students but also on the teachers and the situations around me. Another student posted, Stader and Starratt both have opened my eyes to situations I don't think I would have noticed without reading them. For example, I was able to see the way my principal is handling testing. I also became a better team member on third grade with my constructive criticism. I know the longer I teach, more changes will happen and I will become stronger in areas that are still weak. And yet another student posted, I feel that I grew professionally in my role as an Intervention Team member...The knowledge that I acquired from the IDEIA Case Brief, Rawl's Equality of Opportunities,

Transformational Learning


and my target program helped me to establish a voice on the team and provided me with an inner desire to stand up for the educational systems' greatest resource - our students. Discussion Major findings. After exploring and organizing the data available in the form of transcripts, postings, and syllabi, it appears the courses that Dr. Buskey has created and is creating have provided some students with opportunities to stop and reflect upon their practice. His assignments require more than cursory responses and though his flexibility left some students anxious about expectations and upcoming assignments, his teaching style and course design prompted some students to "think outside of the box" and to examine parts of their daily professional lives that they had never considered. Comparison of findings with existing research. One of transformational education's principal thinkers, Mezirow (1998) describes learner transformation, and this course did seem to be, for the learners, "...about emancipating ourselves from these taken-for-granted assumptions about social being" (p. 5). The next part of the learning theory is about taking social action and making change. While the researchers found existing studies that addressed transformational learning, online learning and adult learning separately, little research exists that incorporates Dr. Buskey's impetus of study­that of the adult online learner and the process of transformation he would like his students to experience. Limitations. One of the limitations of this research project is that the participants have only just started to identify ways they might change or have changed their practices. In order to see if any of these transformational changes have the potential to be long lasting, the researchers would need to return to our participants for a follow-up interview. Of course, sometimes one does not know the impact of an experience until one are removed from it. It would be interesting to conduct a longitudinal study and interview participants in three years to determine what

Transformational Learning changes they have enacted and what "lessons" they are still carrying with them from these courses. A second limitation of this study is that the researchers did not have access to the


students' professional community. It would have been interesting to note through triangulation of interview subjects if any of the people working around or for these graduate students had noticed a transformation. Another limitation is that the researchers do not know the technological knowledge of the participants. It could be that some of the frustration felt by those interviewed came not from the design of the course but rather learning to navigate an online content delivery system. Implications for future research. A study that measures participants' background technological knowledge and comfort level prior to determining what factors of an online course contribute to transformation would be of value. Additionally, a focus on whether or not the students are truly open to transformation would help instructors determine if their online delivery strategies were effective. Overall significance of the study. From the participants' responses, it became evident that much of transformational learning is in the power of the student. There are many factors surrounding transformational learning that simply cannot be controlled by the instructor. Students must have had the life experiences that would prepare them to become transformed and the emotional readiness to allow for and perhaps even welcome change. While age is not necessarily a factor, certainly readiness for transformation appeared to affect whether or not the participants allowed themselves to become transformed.

Transformational Learning References Anderson, T. (1999). Utilizing disruptive technologies in the university: Confessions of an agent provocateur. Edmonton, AB, Canada: University of Alberta. [Online]. Available: (Date of access, August, 2, 2003). Ettling, D. (2006). Ethical demands of transformative learning. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 109, 59-67. Johnson-Bailey, J., & Alfred, M. (2006). Transformational teaching and the practices of black women adult educators. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 109, 49-58. Lebaron, J. & Miller, D. (2004). The teacher as agent provocateur: Strategies to Promote community in online course settings. In Latomaa T., Pohjonen, J., Pulkkinen, J., &


Ruotsalainen, M., (Eds.). eReflections-Ten years of educational technology studies at the University of Oulu. Essays contributed by the network builders (pp. 109-126). University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland. Retrieved September 15, 2007 from LeBaron, J. & Santos, I. (2005). Authentic engagement of adult learners in online settings. Mountain Rise 2(1). Retrieved September 20, 2007, from ment.html Mezirow, J. (2004). Forum comment on Sharan Merriam's "the role of cognitive development in Mezirow's transformational learning theory". Adult Education Quarterly, 55(1), 69-70. Mezirow, J. (1998). Transformative learning and social action: A response to Inglis. Adult Education Quarterly, 49(1), 70. Mezirow, J. (1997). Transformation theory out of context. Adult Education Quarterly, 60.

Transformational Learning Appendix A


Survey Questions for Transformational Learning Research Study

Begin with definition of transformational learning which will orient the participant. The goal of Transformational Learning is for adults to practice critical reflection of one's actions, goals, and thinking. Thus, transformational learning encourages adult learners to connect or re-connect with values and beliefs they have, and employ their values and belief systems in and outside of the workplace.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

Tell me about assignments from Dr. Buskey's course(s) that you found memorable. What did you think about the reflective weekly postings? How did postings with your classmates affect your own professional learning? What assignments or elements of Dr. Buskey's courses prompted you to think about your own experiences in your professional setting? How did the assignments in Dr. Buskey's course encourage you to reevaluate your current beliefs and values? Can you tell me about an experience at work that you approached differently as a result of Dr. Buskey's class? (Sometimes you learn things and don't realize it until you do something differently and it clicks for Ah Ha moment!) Did participation in Dr. Buskey's course affect the way you think about teaching and learning? (attitude) Have the transformational practices you implemented lasted over time? (Did they stick?) Compare this class with other online graduate classes you've had in the past in terms of critical reflection and connecting your value and belief system. If you were in a position to develop an online MSA class to foster transformational learning, what would it look like? Is there anything else you'd like to add that I haven't asked?


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