Responsible Higher Education - Practicing Transformative Learning and Teaching
Our theoretical frame is transformational learning (Mezirow, 2000), working with the embedded nature of the learning process: including changes in learner and educator, and also in their relationship, as well as their interactions with the structure. Transformational learning does not demand social change; instead, it increases freedom through more information and openness to alternate points of views; the ability for critical thinking and reflectiveness on assumptions; including the individual’s; thus, enabling social change. Transformational learning links reflection and action through an open and iterative process, while developing the learners’ critical reflection and responsiveness.
Transformational learning is a process with key turning points (Mezirow, 2000): (1) disorienting dilemma - increased awareness on the conflicted nature of assumptions and need for change; (2) dilemma and the associated feelings, discontent and need for change shared with others - need for supportive group of peers; (3) development of sustaining practice for the (re)integration of change.
The research explores all these turning points to answer the research questions: To what extent is transformational teaching and learning practiced in the studied projects? How is structure (re)interpreted in the transformational teaching and learning process?
The cross-case analysis is provided (1) from a process perspective along the key turning points identified for the transformational learning process, and (2) from a content/value perspective, interpreting the practice through the process requirements and policy agendas of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI).