Transformative learning seeks to encourage learners to critically reflect on their assumptions and preconceptions, thereby transforming their existing frameworks and perspectives (Cranton, 1992; Mezirow, 1975). This qualitative study investigates what transformative learning looks like among a diverse group of adult learners at a graduate school of education, who all attended sculpture classes intentionally designed to enable such change. In order to study transformative learning, I will present the abbreviated journeys of five participants. When transformative learning is part of the teacher’s intention, how, if at all, does learning through hands-on artmaking in mixed media sculpture classes transform these adults with regard to their understanding of their identities as artists and learners (“Who am I?”), their approaches to artmaking (“How do I make art?”), and their understanding of art itself (“What is art?”)? Furthermore, the study seeks to understand what aspects of their class experiences contributed to these transformations. The study examines the studio creations of five adults from diverse backgrounds and experiences, reflects on their artmaking processes, and considers what they themselves wrote about their artmaking experiences. Using transformative learning theory as an interpretive framework, the study analyzes semi-structured interviews, retrospective surveys, field notes, artworks, and weekly reflective journals to understand the nature of transformative learning in an intentionally designed sculpture curriculum.
Transformative Learning, Adult Learners, Studio Instruction, Hands-on Artmaking, Critical Reflection
Copyright © 2018 Sohee Koo
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"Manual Transformation: Exploring Adult Transformative Learning Through Hands-on Artmaking,"
Marilyn Zurmuehlen Working Papers in Art Education: Vol. 2018
, Article 4.