AbstractsEducation Research & Administration

Evolutionary andragogy within learning community for embodied transformation in higher education| A case study of the next wave of leadership training

by Michael Ian Brabant

Institution: Saybrook University
Year: 2016
Keywords: Adult education; Educational philosophy
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2117852
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As the world is experiencing unprecedented changes and challenges, it is essential to develop educational approaches that enable current and future leaders to be effective in meeting them. To do so, education must foster transformation of the learner to achieve an inclusive, dynamic, and flexible approach to life. This dissertation involved a case study evaluation of data collected about a leadership curriculum that attempted to accomplish those objectives within a university setting. The curriculum aimed at enabling the expansion and evolution of each participants? worldview. The curriculum, developed specifically for this study, was taught through an integrally-informed approach to transformative learning within a learning community. A comprehensive overview of the constituent parts of the theories integrated in the curriculum, as well as the synthesis of them combined, is presented in the dissertation, including a discussion of the practical application of leadership development delivered within the curriculum through a content-neutral, andragogical approach to an education that transforms. The study analyzed several types of data, including interviews conducted to determine participants? experience of the leadership course, and student journals. The analysis revealed themes regarding how students? worldviews shifted in partial response to engaging in this evolutionary approach to education. These themes included the following: increased self-awareness and self-care; an increase in confidence; a deepening of authenticity; feeling more connected within diverse social environments; acknowledging an explicit worldview expansion; a positive palpable emotional shift in awareness; an increase in perspective taking ability; developing an evolutionary approach to life; and creating enhanced clarity of purpose. The study concluded with suggestions to inform future applications of this curricular model to more rigorous and comprehensive research settings that would enable even more robust data. The findings of this dissertation, as well as those of future projects, will form building blocks for continually refined and potent approaches to facilitating truly transformative education.