Facilitating Transformational Learning: A Model for Active Engagement

Principal Investigator:  Dr. Karen McComas

Research Staff: Lonnie “Sonny” Carpenter


Life histories from members of a Community of Research Practice contain stories about eight life events (e.g., childhood, turning point). Many stories described significant and meaningful transformative larding experiences. Analysis of these experiences reveals a model for the kinds of active engagement that promotes transformative learning and informs curriculum development.Whack_Notepad

Our purpose in this study was to describe the characteristics of those experiences which are integrated, significant, and meaningful. We know that active and engaged learning experiences are manifested in a wide variety of forms in classrooms. For instance, we have seen and experienced active engagement in the forms of crossword puzzles, jeopardy games; clinical practicum; and collecting and analyzing data for research studies. But, we do not believe that all active learning creates the same kinds of engagement and may not lead to transformative learning. Reviewing and analyzing previously collected data affords us the opportunity to search for clues relating to the quality of various kinds of active learning and to identify those qualities associated with significant and meaningful learning. From this analysis we developed a model representing the key components of the kinds of active engagement that lead to transformational learning.

STATUS: Currently, we are in the process of writing a manuscript to report on the outcomes of this study.