Women Living History: An Exploration of Transformational Learning in a Living History Group


  • Amanda Silva Alfred State College


women, transformative learning, gender, history


Although transformational learning has been studied in numerous contexts (English and Peters, 2012; Foote, 2015; Mezirow, 1990; Mezirow, 1997; Nohl, 2015), one area worth further exploration is the activity of living history. Living history, as defined by Anderson (1982), is essentially the simulation of life in another time. The present study focuses on a group of women in a small living history organization and how their participation in this group has changed them. Participant observation and interviews were used to determine what the women gain from their participation and to uncover some of the reasons they continue with the group. Specific findings include the importance of education and instances of transformational experiences that come from being a part of the organization. Future research should continue to explore education and transformational experiences in living history groups, especially for women, and how these types of organizations facilitate this process.

Author Biography

Amanda Silva, Alfred State College

I am an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department.


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