Harnessing the potential of constructive develop-mental pedagogy to achieve transformative learning in social work education

Pearse McCusker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This project starts with the contention that social work education must challenge students to reframe their knowledge and assumptions to prepare them for working with oppressed groups and develop emancipatory practice. Using transformative learning theory, constructive developmental pedagogy and related approaches, it explored the extent to which students achieved transformative learning in the context of a communication skills module. The learning and teaching components were changed in three ways: by introducing critical reflection seminars; by encouraging students to discuss their assumptions about practice within lectures; and by making immediate use of student observations about their learning needs to reconstruct the pedagogy as the module progressed. Data were gathered using semi-structured questionnaires, a self-efficacy rating scale, and a focus group. The findings highlight problems in measuring and determining causality for transformative learning but indicate that for a majority of students transformative learning in relation to knowledge and assumptions occurred.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-25
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Transformative Education
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2013

Keywords

  • critical reflection
  • transformative learning
  • transformative pedagogy

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