The theory of transformative learning theory, first articulated by Mezirow and further refined in his later publications, is about change – dramatic, fundamental change in the way we see ourselves and the world.
“For learning to be successful it has to have a social ingredient in it. This social ingredient requires observation, attention and interaction. Students tend to learn better when they use their observational skills attentively. Thankfully, the new emerging technology provides these requirements and the onus is on the teacher to show students how to use and leverage such technology in their learning.”
Learning begins… where and when that which is familiar loses its utility and that which is new is not yet useful: “when the old world is, so to say, abandoned, and a new one does not yet exist” (Mead). Its path leads not from shadows to the light; instead it brings one into the twilight, at a threshold between no longer and not yet. From a pedagogical perspective and in the strictest sense, learning is an experience. This is the central thesis of this book. As simple as this may sound, its implications are both subversive and anachronistic. Disruptions, difficulties and other inadequacies are unpopular…a pedagogical theory of learning that focuses on inefficient uncertainties can have particular meaning.”
‘Eames and Cates (2011: 41) point out that there is a scarcity of research concerning cooperative and work-integrated education about “the educational outcomes from, and processes in, work placements”; as well as “understanding about learning in the work placement”. They argue (p. 42) that “understanding how learning occurs” during work-integrated learning placements would help legitimise workplace experience as legitimate aspect of cooperative programmes as educative. There is way too much emphasis on employer ratings and student papers concerning their work-integrated learning placements “in order to award credit”. Too little effort is devoted to “finding out what the students are really learning” from workplace experiences—“credit is not simply given for work experience” but should be given for the “learning [that is] resulting from work experience”. Eames and Cates (2011: 42) therefore consider it important that learning on “work experience [placement] is understood” in order “that appropriate curricula, pedagogy, and assessment can be designed and implemented”.
Eames and Cates (2011: 41) remark that research and development has mainly been pragmatically applied-descriptive and evaluative—what constitutes the successful operation; the outcomes of work placements; career clarification for students; enabling recruitment of candidates perceived suitable; collaboration with work-integrated learning hosts; completion of study-related projects; and attraction of students to programmes.’
Eames, C. & Cates, C. 2011. Theories of learning in cooperative and work-integrated education (pp. 41-52). In R.K. Coll & K.E. Zegwaard (Eds.). International handbook for cooperative and work-integrated education (2nd ed.). World Association for Cooperative Education Inc.