Transformational Learning Strategies That Will Be Seen In Vocational Courses

Transformational learning is part and parcel of vocational courses will be apt, as vocational courses are generally undertaken by those who are looking to up-skill themselves.

Transformational Learning is the pedagogy that takes into account the learner’s “transformation” during the course. It is believed that people not only learn the basic know-how of a skill or subject while learning but also develop their own ideas and personality while they are at it. This transformation is more prominent in adult learners who already have a certain perspective of things and is part of the holistic idea of ‘lifelong learning.' To say that transformational learning is part and parcel of vocational courses will be apt, as vocational courses are generally undertaken by those who are looking to up-skill themselves. Such courses challenge their pre-existing ideas and help transform them for their own benefit. Furthermore, it is aimed at developing not only the learner’s perspective of accomplishing a task, but also rebooting their understanding of their own way of working.

Jack Mezirow, the founder of transformational learning, says that there are two types of transformations in a learning module - a) instrumental transformation and b) communicative transformation. And in today’s era where the requirement of up-skilling is continuously surging the basic aspects of the learnings help the student of life to step up in their professional journey. Mentioned below are strategies of such transformational learning that can be handy to both educators and learners.

Instrumental transformation: It happens with respect to the learner’s knowledge and training. The pre-existing knowledge base that the student has is often challenged with the developing pedagogies and encourage the learner to think out-of-the-box. This enables intuitive and informed innovation in the industry. It includes action plans, case studies and curriculum development.

Action plans: To begin with any imparting of knowledge from educators’ end, an action plan acts as a guide for the students more than the teachers. It helps them stay on pace with the curriculum and understand what awaits them.

Case studies: The primary use of case studies is focused on practice, and on the philosophical and practical aspects of educators' practice. Through the use of real-life examples, case studies provide the opportunity to analyze assumptions, as well as the consequences of choices and actions.

Curriculum development: An opportunity to connect theory and practice is created by a teacher via mapped curriculum development. The testing and comparison in developing on the planned curriculum educators can practice previous techniques instead of just moving away from uncritically accepting new teaching methods. This can lead to a better understanding of the students’ end.

Communicative transformation: It is more personal and related to the output of one’s learning. As fields that deal with client communication and strategy, most vocational courses enable the student to improve their perspective vis-a-vis the global outlook and advancement of the industry. With due attention given to the continuous transformation of the learner’s perspectives and ideas, these courses help the student mature into a more knowledgeable, rational and smart professional. It includes critical-thinking discussions and reflective activities.

Critical-thinking discussions: Students achieve better results when the theory learned is practised and communicated across to peers. In instances like these, opinions differ and stimulate the group to think from a different perspective. Such divergent views that thoughtfully fuel up discussions transform an individual to thinking way far than anticipated.

Reflective activities: It is important that students be reflective of their emotions, experience and behaviour towards the imbibed knowledge imparted by the trainers during the course of action. This activity is a follow on approach for critical thinking discussions where educators can also stimulate the trainees to self-examine their growth. Furthermore, it provides a guidance to the educators on moulding the path for further training and improves the chances of excelling at their vocational abilities. 

While the transformative approach has been around in the global education sector, it is a concept that is recently being applied to pedagogy in the Indian context. And instead of undertaking education as a static discourse, we see it as a process of evolution, which will eventually benefit the industry and community at large. Which in turn helps the learner gauging the aspects to not only find a sector that suits the learner better but also in achieving the target progress on the professional front.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

Around The World

Our Publications