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Transformative Learning for a Sustainable Future: An Exploration of Pedagogies for Change at an Alternative College
Centre for Sustainable Futures/PedRIO, Plymouth University, Plymouth, PL4 8AA, UK
Education Research Centre, University of Brighton, Falmer, East Sussex BN1 9PH, UK
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 September 2013; in revised form: 16 November 2013 / Accepted: 25 November 2013 / Published: 12 December 2013
Abstract: Educators and policy makers have long recognised the central role that education can play in creating a more sustainable and equitable world. Yet some question whether current processes across mainstream higher education prepare learners sufficiently to graduate with the capabilities or motivation to shape and create a future that is life-sustaining. This paper presents findings from a qualitative research project carried out by Plymouth University in association with Schumacher College, Devon, UK. Schumacher College is an alternative, civil society college, owned by the Dartington Hall Trust that claims to provide transformative learning opportunities within a broad context of sustainability. The study explored the nature and application of transformative learning as a pedagogical approach to advance change towards sustainability. If learners claimed transformational learning experiences, the research asked whether, and to what extent, this transformation could be attributed to the pedagogies employed at the College. The paper begins by setting out the broad background to the relationship between marginal and mainstream educational settings, and definitions and theoretical underpinnings of transformative learning, and then leads into the research design and findings. The potential for transformative pedagogies to be applied to and employed within the wider higher education (HE) sector is then discussed, and the overall findings and conclusions are presented.
Keywords: transformative learning (TL); education for sustainability; learning for change; space for emergence
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Blake, J.; Sterling, S.; Goodson, I. Transformative Learning for a Sustainable Future: An Exploration of Pedagogies for Change at an Alternative College. Sustainability 2013, 5, 5347-5372.
Blake J, Sterling S, Goodson I. Transformative Learning for a Sustainable Future: An Exploration of Pedagogies for Change at an Alternative College. Sustainability. 2013; 5(12):5347-5372.
Blake, Joanna; Sterling, Stephen; Goodson, Ivor. 2013. "Transformative Learning for a Sustainable Future: An Exploration of Pedagogies for Change at an Alternative College." Sustainability 5, no. 12: 5347-5372.