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Transformational learning theory as adult learning

Posted By: Lynden Leppard on January 29, 2002
I have been familair with Mezirow's work for some time and carry some of his explanations about learning from notice board to notice board. This work, however, takes me to vaguely familiar places that I have been struggling to name.

I am a high school principal currently working on a process to renew Tasmania's school curriculum. One issue for me is why this is considered an adult learning theory rather than simply a learning theory. In what sense is is uniquely adult?

Constructivism has been the dominant learning theory here for 20 years and it seems to me that brains, within and part of whole people, are culmulative in designing how they will interpret the world and act in it. Is adult then a description of some stage of development that has some recognizable skills and habits of mind (Richard Paul? If so then to what extent is age a factor and to what extent is the intentionality of the learner a factor in deciding the adultness or level of competence?

A key issue for me as a teacher/ learner with people of all ages is how you can use this theory to design effective learning environemnts for all learners and what that might look like as it develops from infancy to adulthood.


Lynden Leppard
Tasmania (Australian state! - the island at the bottom)
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 Transformational learning theory as adult learning by Lynden Leppard on January 29, 2002
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