Survey of Transformative and Spiritual Dimensions of Higher Education
Journal of Transformative Education
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2003
Pages: 177 - 211
Source ID: shanti-sources-82176
Collection: Contemplative Pedagogy in Higher Education
Abstract: The purpose of this study, conducted in Winter 2003, was to document academic programs and other initiatives in North American universities and colleges that incorporate transformative and spiritual elements of learning. A combination of qualitative and quantitative instruments was used for data collection. Transformative learning has historically referred to a primarily epistemic, rational process whereby adult learners become aware of their unconscious roles, beliefs, and assumptions. The operational definition of transformative learning used in this study emphasized reflective learning, the intuitive and imaginative process, and the ethical, spiritual, and/or contemplative dimensions of education. Questionnaire responses and interviews indicated that although there is great interest in bringing transformative/spiritual elements into higher education, this movement still exists primarily among individual faculty within classrooms rather than as a departmental or institutional strategy. However, there are a number of notable initiatives in mainstream educational institutions. Survey participants were also asked about strategies that would support the transformative learning movement.