Transformative Learning within Cultural Spaces: Transformative Experience Interventions through the Lens of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy
Information Age Publishing, Inc., Editors: Gregory Arief D. Liem, Nanyang Technological University and Dennis M. McInerney, The Education University of Hong Kong, A volume in Research on Sociocultural Influences on Motivation and Learning, 2020
Posted: 14 Aug 2020 Last revised: 15 Sep 2020
Date Written: June 25, 2020
Educators and researchers advocating culturally relevant pedagogy (CRP) have long made the case that teachers need to account for students’ cultural backgrounds and seek to make connections between curricular content and students’ sociocultural experience outside the classroom. We agree with this argument and believe there is much CRP can contribute to our work on transformative experience (TE) theory. TE theory was inspired by Dewey’s work and, in common with CRP, is centrally focused on connecting to students’ everyday experience. Dewey (1938) was concerned about the disconnect between formal education and students’ everyday experience. He proposed that, not only does learning benefit when it builds on everyday experience, but experience benefits when it is augmented by learning. That is, curricular ideas can enrich everyday experience by functioning as lenses that allow students to perceive the world in meaningful new ways. TE theory focuses on understanding and supporting this transformative potential of education. To this end, we have investigated the nature of transformative experiences and designed pedagogical models for fostering such experiences. Most of this work had been done in the domain of science education leading to the development of the Teaching for Transformative Experiences in Science (TTES) model. This model has commonalities with CRP due to the joint focus on connecting in-school learning with everyday experience. However, the TTES model, at the current time, does not include an explicit cultural focus and would benefit from being analyzed through the lens of CRP. In this chapter, we propose to first discuss similarities between the TTES model and CRP. Then we will evaluate how sociocultural factors may influence students’ experience with each component of the TTES model and, drawing on CPR, consider adjustments to these components.
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