Development and Validation of an Instrument for Assessing Transformative Learning: The Transformative Learning Environments Survey (TLES)



Transformative learning survey, TLES, postsecondary education, community college



The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a new transformative learning survey instrument. The Transformative Learning Environments Survey (TLES) was developed using a three-stage approach and field tested with a population of 649 postsecondary students. The new validated instrument consists of 52 items allocated to four scales: (1) Disorienting Dilemma, (2) Self-Reflection, (3) Meaning Perspective and Critical Discourse, and (4) Acting. Each scale is subdivided into (a) students’ apperception and (b) their perception of the learning environment for a total of 8 subscales. Each item had a minimal factor loading of 0.50 with its own scale. Cronbach’s alpha coefficients ranged from 0.85 to 0.93. The TLES was used to investigate bivariate correlations between its subscales and a scale of student satisfaction where the outcomes ranged from -0.29 to 0.49. The TLES is an instrument that can be utilized for efficient small- and large-scale quantitative investigation into transformative learning. 

Author Biography

Scott L. Walker, Northwest Vista College

Scott is a Professor of Geography and Department Coordinator at Northwest Vista College in San Antonio, Texas, USA. He has been studying and researching transformative learning since 2009, when he first developed the valid and reliable Transformative Learning Environent Survey (TLES) as a quantitative instrument to rapidly and efficiently gather data from large numbers of students.


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