Critical Reflection in Transformative Learning
In both readings, it is agreed that critical reflection triggers transformational learning. “What we perceive and fail to perceive and think re powerfully influenced by habits of expectation.” (Mezirow, 1997) Mezirow speaks more of transformational learning in general, not just in the on-line community, as do Palloff and Pratt in Building Online Learning Communities: Effective Strategies for the Virtual Classroom.
Reflection of our learning is key to transformative learning, Mezirow speaks of the different stages of reflective development relying on meaning schemes, meaning perspectives and the different stages of moral development: some are learned from our value and belief systems, whether intentional or unintentional. Both Mezirow and Palloff and Pratt suggest in addition to using prior life experiences, one digs deeper to learn by reflection. Reflection is used to see how far we have come to meeting our learning goals. Through reflection, we understand the meaning of our learning experiences and goals. We are able to measure how far we have or have not come in obtaining them. Linking assignments to real-life situations, using critical reflection transform our old ways of thinking and learning and aid in the analysis of in new ways of transformative learning being it on-line or any other new way of learning. This could be also used with the Professional Learning Community structure and ways of learning to make it work and incorporate it into practice within our educational systems: transforming a new way of thinking, doing and assessing in order to improve our present day educational system.
Palloff, R. & Pratt, K. (2007). Building Online Learning Communities: Effective strategies for the virtual classroom, (2nd ed.). San Franciso: Jossey-Bass.
Mezirow, J. (1997) Fostering Critical Reflection in Adulthood, A Guide to Transformative and Emancipatory Learning. Retrieved from http://www.graham-russell-pead.co.uk/articles-pdf/critical-reflection.pdf.