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Transformative Learning in Clinical Education: Using Theory to Inform Practice

  • Anna JonesEmail author
Living reference work entry
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Abstract

Transformative learning is a way of understanding learning when the central focus is profound change in both thinking and behavior. Although Mezirow is key to transformative learning, the work has been developed and used in a range of contexts. In clinical education the notion of transformative learning is increasingly being used as a framework to understand the ways in which clinicians learn in ways that promote fundamentally new ways of thinking. As a tool for curriculum design and teaching development, transformative learning provides a means by which educators can plan for learning. The key elements of transformative learning are disequilibrium or a “disorienting dilemma” that is a trigger to prompt critical reflection. The final stage is a change in both thinking and action. These stages can then be expanded into a much more fine-grained process. This chapter provides the theoretical background to transformative learning before examining its use in clinical education. This is illustrated through a vignette. While transformative learning requires effort and persistence on the part of both learner and educator, the possibilities for creating learning environments that enable a flexibility of thought, interdisciplinary collaborations, and an openness to new ways of working are essential in a rapidly changing healthcare system.

Keywords

Transformative learning Transformation Change Reflection Critical thinking 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Medical EducationKing’s College LondonLondonUK

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