Saturday, March 17, 2012

Reflection on a Transformative Learning Experience

In my Master of Ed course, we are asked to reflect on different aspects of our learning. We have been looking at Learning that is Transforming and analysing The Transformation Theory proposed by Jack Mezirow 1991. We are looking at what that means for use today as educators. It really is quite fitting considering my blog is called Journey Through Learning. A journey takes you far and you experience much. How much are we tranforming learning for our students? Do we really know what it means? Is it actually a new theory or have the really  brilliant educators been doing it for years and just haven't put a label to it?
My reflections:
A learning experience for me as a child which was “transforming” would probably be when my teacher took us on the Blue Lakes walk in Kosciuszko National Park, just because we were interested in Geography. It opened the world up and the fact that he invested in us so fully, meant the world. Here was someone who was interested in us and was prepared to give his time. It wasn’t only that he had given us his time but it was his approach – casually chatting about the geographical aspects of the walk and expanding our horizons. As the kids all say today – it was fun! We didn't know we were learning. I'm sure he knew we were.

I have always reflecting on his teaching style as I have grown and developed as a teacher. He was very strict but we all appreciated that because we knew where we stood. He planned for discussion and didn’t only answer the student with their hand up. We had to think. He didn't always give us the answers. Learning was always interesting – I think because it was hands on and we could apply it easily. Even the theory was enjoyable because his enthusiasm lifted each of us. We were valued as students and learners yet the lines of teacher/student boundaries were never crossed.

If I could bottle his formula, I would. I can’t so I as a result I try to apply what worked with us and make it current for the various cohorts I teach.

©Abi Woldhuis - Memories of a Transformative Teacher, Journey Through Learning.

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