Nursing Education and Transformative Learning

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 Transformative Learning In Nursing Education

Nursing Education and Transformative Learning

What Is Transformative Learning, Implementation of Transformative Learning In Nursing Education, Historical Over View of Transformative Learning, Outcomes of Transformative Learning In Nursing Education.

What Is Transformative Learning

    Transformative learning (TL) is the process of effecting change in a frame of reference (Mezirow, 1997). This means that there is a question of one's assumptions about what is known, thus leading to a transformed view of the situation

Implementation of Transformative Learning In Nursing Education

    TL is an adult learning theory, and can be an effective approach to assist the student in the clinical setting to become an autonomous thinker (Parker & Myrick, 2010), guiding the student to reflect on assumptions and beliefs that come with caring for persons from different cultures and life experiences can be an effective teaching approach to facilitate TI Students may experience being challenged when facing life views that are different from their own, thus creating an opportunity for critical appraisal. This transforming approach can assist students to achieve short-term goals and objectives, which may ultimately lead to becoming an autonomous thinker (Mezirow, 1997).

Historical Over View of Transformative Learning

    TL is a learning theory formulated first by Paulo Freire in 1970. He found that adult learners, when posed with a problem, need to question assumptions, pose questions, and conceptualize the problem within the context of the social, political, and economic influences in their lives (Derix, 1998). He indicated that the frame of reference is the lens through which one views the world. Therefore, the context is the frame of reference. The 10-step process leads the nurse to become an autonomous thinker. The educator's role in the steps is to gently ask questions that provoke thought and insight. 

    The goal is to change the lens the nurse is looking through (McAlister, Tower, & Walker, 2007, Mezirow, 1997).Adult learners tend to realize how and why they perceive their current world, and take action to come to a different view of the world (Mezirow, 1997). This can be achieved by multiple exposures to new problems requiring the student to assess his or her own feelings and perceptions about the problem, including limitations in knowledge, requiring the student to assess assumptions and perceptions about the problem. The student must be given time to process the problem while discovering underlying assumptions, either positive or negative. 

    After the underlying assumptions have been identified, the student completes a critical self-reflection uncovering the foundation of the underlying assumptions. Once the source is identified, the student participates in critical discourse, where the information is shared in a group and the group assists in problem solving. Finally, the student acknowledges the change in the frame of reference, thus culminating in a new perspective (Mathew-Maich, Plog, Jack, & Dobbins, 2010; McGonigal, 2007).

Outcomes of Transformative Learning In Nursing Education

    In order to implement TL. in nursing education, instructors must create the environment. This environment must be non-threatening and supportive. This environment promotes trust between student and instructor, which is paramount to the discourse required in transformational learning, Instructors need to create objectives that foster critical thinking, self-examination, and critical appraisal that encourage autonomy and, ultimately, TI. The instructor must take time to get to know the students by inquiring about thoughts and feelings (McAlister et al.2007). This strategy will foster trust in the classroom. 

    An exercise to meet this strategy might be short journal entries throughout the semester. Short introduction with a brief history may help to make the students feel they are heard and valued. It is also important to know there are others in the class like them. Transformational learning is a teaching approach that promotes critical autonomous thinking. The changing work environment and fast pace of technology require the new worker to be an autonomous free thinker, able to adapt to multiple situations. The nurse educator will play a key role in the development of the student who is an autonomous thinker undergoing constant transformation in thinking (Parker & Myrick. 2010).

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