The concept of learning is usually associated with education, which often implies facts, knowledge, skills or other types of factual information. However, there is a certain category of people that no longer resonate with the classic type of education. We are talking about millennials, the generation of choice. These people are bringing on a new concept of education and life fulfillment, and they are triggering change in other generations as well. Given the challenges of today’s world, it is quite obvious that we need to rethink the way in which we approach education, and this is where transformative learning comes in handy.
1. The foundation of transformative learning
This concept was first coined in the late 70s and formulates a theory that defined how people consider their beliefs based on self-reflection. In time, the experiences that each individual goes through change the way in which they self-reflect, and consequently, they change their beliefs and the way in which they see the world. Now more relevant than ever, due to the millennials, a generation that has so many choices that they are often unable to make decisions. While the theory has changed in time, its foundation remains the same: understanding what gets people to change their view of the world.
2. How the process works
If you are interested in using this theory in order to improve your life, there are a few things that you should know about it. Firstly, this process has 3 directions: a psychological, a convictional and a behavioral direction. The psychological direction implies understanding the changes that occur in one’s perception of self. This is followed by the convictional direction which involves revising an individual belied system. The final direction calls for behavioral changes, meaning lifestyle changes that are adapted to one’s new view of the world.
3. What triggers this type of learning
Generally, this learning process comes naturally and for most people it is caused by a life crisis. We are all familiar with the middle life crisis, but today’s generation seems to be dealing with a different type of crisis, more specifically, the quarter life crisis. Regardless of the type of crisis, the process is usually the same. An individual is faced with a disorienting dilemma which forces them into a process of self-examination. This is often followed by a sense of alienation and discontent towards others. In order to move forward, the individual has to come up with options for a new behavior, and come up with new ways to build confidence. Once they build confidence, they plan a course of action and they acquire the knowledge to implement their plans. For a while, they experiment with their new roles in society, and if they feel comfortable, they reintegrate the society.
4. How to use this theory to improve your life
The main advantage of this this learning theory is that it acknowledges the fact that it is a natural process that happens to most people. As such, people who go through life crisis will feel less alienated and more driven to solve their problems. For some people, it can take years to overcome a life crisis, but having a better understanding of transformative learning can hurry up the process. Moreover, it is possible to trigger this process voluntarily, with the purpose of building a more fulfilling life. This is a great way of preventing a life crisis.