A Mentoring Approach: Fostering Transformative Learning in Adult Graduate Education

Mitsunori Misawa, Adam McClain


Transformative learning is one of the major theories used throughout the field of adult education that focuses on adults and how they learn in various socio-educational contexts. Transformative learning is a theory that emphasizes how adults can examine their own assumptions and beliefs with how they make sense of the world (Mezirow, 1991). Adult educators have expressed the importance of developing authentic environments and relationships in graduate education that are vital to creating opportunities for transformative learning (Cranton, 2006, 2011, 2016; Stevens-Long, Schapiro, & Mcclintock, 2012).  There still remains a lack of empirical research and understanding of how adult educators and adult learners collaboratively process transformative learning in graduate education. There is room to explore how transformative learning is fostered, mentored, and processed between educators and learners. The purpose of this study was to explore how transformative learning is fostered and encouraged in graduate education. Research and implications are provided.


critical reflection, transformative learning, mentorship, higher education

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