1. Transformative Learning
During the transformative process learners’ are able to build & develop collaborative relationships between each other as well as the instructor. During this creative “aha” process participants began to realize the importance of becoming critically reflective by utilizing group journaling, autobiographies, and good practice audits. The learners as well as the educator are able to relate their own experiences that contribute towards the process of learning and transformation. Through reflection and transformation learners began to question how their beliefs, values, cultural and linguistic strengths will allow them to develop the multiple intelligences and capabilities to achieve the various levels of knowledge.
In the pursuit to achieve educational rights the government/institutions must continue to provide education that empowers learners to exercise their social and cultural rights through diverse programs that create autonomy, self-worth, and guidance. The concept of transformative learning enveloped with critical thinking can provide valuable solutions and unanimity. As long as educators continue to identify and analyze the contents of curriculums, strengths, needs, and interests of disenfranchised learners- educators will meet classroom objectives while building a strong sense of community. Nieto (1999) noted John Dewey’s (1916) views on positive learning communities, as the “idea that learning occurs essentially in community with others. That is, the notion of community is at the center of learning…Whether we consciously create them or not, classrooms are communities and, like all communities, some are more or less effective than others” (p.84).
2. Spirituality and Adult Learning
McCarthy’s 4MAT cycles of learning could be applied successfully to achieving the goals of Adult Learning and Spirituality. One of the most important spiritual principles is the concept of unity and the oneness of humanity. A profound belief that we are all members of one human family is an essential core element in a spiritual approach to development. This awareness of unity can be fostered by empowering learners through discourse, decision making, and understanding multiculturalism. Through collaborative decision making, each participant has unique capabilities to construct conflict resolution strategies within the knowledge communities they are affiliated with. For example, by working in diverse peer groups students recognize and value their differences while simultaneously working collectively to achieve common objectives. Moreover, in a spiritual approach to teaching in classrooms teachers are selected on the basis of their character, competency, and the ability to help learners develop relationships based on the principles of oneness and justice. Tamas (1999) describe “oneness” as one of the spiritual/leadership development themes:
Expectations are clear, communication is effective, and performance is assessed on the basis of collaboratively developed work plans. Work can be carried out either in teams or by individuals in contexts where openness, trust, safety, and honesty prevail. Individuals strive to transcend their particular points of view in order to function as members while preserving their own interests and goals. Further, they subordinate their personal agendas and identities to the needs and purposes of their group. Opinions expressed belong not to individuals but to the group as a whole, to take up, to discard or revise what seems to best serve the goal pursued. (p.21)
3. Woman’s Ways of Learning
Radical Feminism is a branch of feminism that views oppression as a fundamental element in human society and seeks to challenge that standard by rejecting standard general roles. This feminist theory originated approximately between 1967 to1975. According to these theorists–the most fundamental of oppression is one that cuts across boundaries of race, culture, and economic class. (Daly, 1978)
Susan Ismel’s article on feminist pedagogy and adult learning focuses on social, educational, and economic inequality alongside an agenda of promoting system change. By implementing appropriate instructional strategies for teaching and learning, educators are able to produce learning environments that empowers all kinds of learners. Through critical awareness educators are able to address cultural diversity, eradicating racist assumptions whilst empowering marginalized groups. “Action and reflection are seen as being in a state of constant and productive tension, often referred to as “praxis.” The point of education is not just to understand the world, but to change it, often through collective endeavor.” (Tennant & Pogson, 2005, p. 364)
Consciously or not, educators must create surroundings which resist Eurocentric cannons- while inspiring change. Through liberation learners become aware of how the process works and how to fight against it. Just as Paulo Friere acknowledges, while society is controlled by the affluent- values are conformed reinforcing the status quo that gives dominate classes power, wealth, and status. In addition, feminist researchers believe through traditional methods of teaching business practices, women values and experiences are negated based on male-biased theories.
4. Teaching to Multiple Intelligences
The implementation of multiple intelligences within critical thinking permit facilitators to, a) develop the personal resources, visions, and values that influence the behaviors of others; and, b) promote understanding of stakeholders’ issues and concerns, and engenders positive relationships. In correlation, when the adult learner is able to use their strongest form of intelligence they begin to find learning easier and more enjoyable. Rose & Nicholl (1997) asserts, “The better developed the range of your intelligences the more flexible you’ll be in meeting a wide range of challenges in life” (p. 20). An article on customizing and expanding learning opportunities (North Central Regional Educational Laboratory [NCREL], n.d.) postulates when educators create curriculums supported through the eight distinct intelligences- participants are able to develop analytical, practical, and creative skills resulting in adults who are confident and self-motivated towards learning which essentially improve satisfaction while meeting training/schoolroom objectives.
Attinasi, J. (1994). Academic achievement, culture, and literacy: An introduction.
Retrieved 7/27/2007 [electronic source] from
Cranton, P. (2006). Understanding and promoting transformative learning. (2nd Ed). San
Francisco: Jossey-Bass A. Wiley Imprint.
Daly, M. (1978). Gylecology: The metaethics of Radical Feminism. Retrieved November 6, 2005
Gutek, G.L. (2004). ED7701. In C. University (Ed). Philosophical and ideological voices in education. Boston: Pearson Custom Publishing
Ismel, S (1995) Retrieved February 16, 2006 Race and Gender in Adult Education.
Nieto, S. (1999). The light in their eyes. Creating multicultural learning communities.
New York: Teachers College Press.
McCarthy, B. (2000). About learning. Wauconda, IL: About Learning, Inc.
Merriam, S. (2005). Critical Thinking in Adult Education. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley &
Rose, C., Nicholl, M. (1997). Accelerated learning for the 21st century. The six-step plan
to unlock your master-mind. New York: Dell Publishing Group, Inc.
Tamas, A. (1999). Spirituality and development. Concept and categories. Ottawa:
Canadian International Development Agency.
Tennant, Pogson P. (2005) Theory and Methods of Educating Adults. Hoboken,
NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.