Transformative Learning and Identity
By Knud Illeris
Routledge – 2014 – 162 pages
In the current ever changing world – the liquid modernity – the most pressing psychological challenge to all of us is to create and maintain a personal balance between mental stability and mental flexibility. In Transformative Learning and Identity Knud Illeris, one of the leading thinkers on the way people learn, explores, updates and re-defines the concept and understanding of transformative learning while linkingthe concept of transformative learning to the concept of identity. He thoroughly discusses what transformative learning is or could be in a broader learning theoretical perspective, including various concepts of learning by change, as opposed to learning by addition, and ends up with a new, short and distinct definition.
He also explores and discusses the concept of identity and presents a general model depicting the complexity of identities today. Building on the work of Mezirow, various perspectives of transformative learning are analysed and discussed, including; transformative learning in different life ages; progressive and regressive transformations; motivation and identity defence; development of identity; personality and competence, and transformative learning in school, education, working life, and in relation to current and future life conditions.
This vital new book by one of the leading learning theorists of our time will prove of lasting interest to academics, teachers, instructors, leaders and researchers in the field of adult learning and education. It will also appeal to many students and researchers of psychology and sociology in general.
"Knudd has very successfully knitted together the threads of identity and Transformative learning. He has woven these into a rich tapestry that both informs and reminds one of the roots of learning processes. His model brings out the richness of the potential of applying theory to practice." - Adult Learner 2014, Dr Isobel Hawthorne-Steele, University of Ulster
"Within the USA, the APA's current encouragement of intra-divisional goals and higher education's focus on the interdisciplinary training models, the discipline of psychology is moving toward more cohesion and more internationalisation, and this book shows the value of that goal. Vocational counsellors, student advisers and student service personnel - indeed, nearly anyone who works with either adolescents or adults in an educational, counselling or rehabilitative role - is likely to find something of value in this book." - Sherri McCarthy, Northern Arizona University, USA
Part I: THE CONCEPT OF TRANSFORMATIVE LEARNING 2. The approach to transformative learning 3. Other approaches to change oriented learning 4. What is transformed by transformative learning? 5. The definition of transformative learning Part II: THE CONCEPT OF IDENTITY 6. The concept of identity by Erik Erikson 7. Newer psychological approaches 8. Topical sociological approaches 9. A general understanding of identity Part III: TRANSFORMATIVE LEARNING IN PRACTICE 10. Identity, transformative learning and life age 11. Progressive, regressive, restoring and collective transformations 12. Motivation and identity defence 13. Personality and competence development 14. Transformative learning in school and education 15. Transformative learning in working life 16. Transformative learning, individual and society
Knud Illeris is Professor of Lifelong Learning at the Danish School of Education, Aarhus University, Denmark.