Transformative Learning Theory: towards a new way of being in the world

Listen to Professor Susan van Schalkwyk from the Centre for Health Professions Education at Stellenbosch University, South Africa discuss transformative learning theory in this AMEE webinar.

Transformative Learning (TL) is described as learning that challenges established perspectives, leading to new ways of being in the world. This complex, meta-theory offers educators a theoretical lens through which to view their students’ learning. In this webinar, we will explore TL as a theoretical construct and consider its implications for health professions education in practice.

Ottawa 2016 conference workshop report

Members of the BGHEI group ran a successful workshop at the recent 17th Ottawa Conference in Perth, Australia. The theme of the conference was Assessment of Competence and Capability across the Continuum of Health Professional Education.

The workshop, “Assessment of Transformative Learning Using Student Reflection on Global Health Electives” explored the use of written reflection as an assessment approach. Workshop participants were invited to read and critique samples of student written reflection to assess whether there was any evidence that transformative learning had taken place. What might this evidence look like? To help frame the discussion, we presented some points to ponder, and these are reproduced below:

  1. What evidence should we look for in the written reflections to assure ourselves that transformation has occurred?
  2. Does the individual need to be consciously aware of their change in order for transformational change to have occurred?
  3. Can we define learning objectives that might be best achieved through transformational learning in a global health curriculum for an AWAY site?
  4. What other activities besides written reflection papers might help lead to transformational learning?
  5. Can we provide instructions to students that would help them to compose reflection papers that would demonstrate the transformational learning that has occurred?
  6. How could a debrief or discussion between student and tutor enrich the assessment?

The debate surrounding these and other questions continues. What do you think?