Women4Peace: Transformative Learning through International Collaboration and Peacebuilding
Keywords:peace building, transformative learning, international education, international collaboration, women
Recent literature suggests that education abroad programs provide a unique opportunity for transformative learning experiences (Gibson, 2017). This paper examines one such approach through a case study of an international exchange program called Women4Peace that offered education abroad opportunities for students and faculty from the United States and Colombia. This program was developed to intentionally maximize opportunities for transformative learning that could enhance key skills for global citizenship, including empathy, collaboration and self-awareness (Hanson, 2010). This paper provides a detailed summary of the Women4Peace initiative, along with a historical and sociopolitical rationale for the program. This paper also presents strategies that Women4Peace employed to maximize transformative learning among participant to contribute to peacebuilding efforts in Colombia. Student and faculty reflections are provided to highlight the transformative learning that occurred during Women4Peace.
Adelopo, I., Asante, J., Dart, E., & Rufai, I. (2017). Learning groups: the effects of group
diversity on the quality of group reflection. Accounting Education, 26(5/6), 553–575.
Aguirre, G., Hyman, M. R, Goudge, D., Genchev, S., Carrell, A., & Hamilton, C. (2017).
Teaching ethics to marketing and logistics majors: A transformative learning experiment. Journal of Education for Business, 92(3), 121–128. https://doi.org/10.1080/08832323.2017.1294138
Alterio, M. (2011). Using a narrative engagement framework to encourage transformative learning. Scope: Contemporary Research Topics (Learning & Teaching), (4), 10–23.
Bain, S. F., & Yaklin, L. E. (2019). Study abroad: Striving for transformative impact. Research in Higher Education Journal, 36.
Baldwin, C. K. (2019). Transformative learning and identity: A review and synthesis of Dirkx and Illeris. Adult Education Research Conference. New Prairie Press.
Brock, S. S. B., & Abel, A. L. (2012). Creating a learning climate for the 21st century: Applying transformative learning to teaching methods in business schools. Transformative Dialogues: Teaching & Learning Journal, 5(3), 1–16.
Cranton, P. (2002). Teaching for transformation. New Directions for Adult & Continuing Education, (93), 63–71. https://doi.org/10.1002/ace.50
Daly, N. (2019). “It inspires and motivates you to do something that makes a difference”: Transformational education experiences and global citizenry in a tertiary travel award. Waikato Journal of Education (2382-0373), 24(1), 21–31. https://doi.org/10.15663/wje.v24i1.643
Dass-Brailsford, P., & Serrano, A. (2010). The transformative effects of international education at an HIV/AIDS clinic in South Africa. Journal of Transformative Education, 8(4), 269–285. https://doi.org/10.1177/1541344611428158
Davis-Manigaulte, J., Yorks, L., & Kasl, E. (2006). Expressive ways of knowing and transformative learning. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, (109), 27–35.
Dunn, A. H., Dotson, E. K., Cross, S. B., Kesner, J., & Lundahl, B. (2014). Reconsidering the local after a transformative global experience: A comparison of two study abroad programs for preservice teachers. Action in Teacher Education, 36(4), 283–304.
Foronda, C. L., & Belknap, R. A. (2012b). Short of transformation: American ADN students’ thoughts, feelings, and experiences of studying abroad in a low-income country. International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, 9(1), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1515/1548-923X.2411
Hawkins, C. A., & Knox, K. (2014). Educating for international social work: Human rights leadership. International Social Work, 57(3), 248–257. https://doi.org/10.1177/0020872813519462
Hunter-Johnson, Y., & Newton, N. (2016). Exploring the transformational learning experiences of Bahamian students studying in the United States. Commission for International Adult Education.
Illeris, K. (2014). Transformative learning and identity. Journal of Transformative Education, 12(2), 148-163.
Intolubbe-Chmil, L., Spreen, C. A., & Swap, R. J. (2012). Transformative learning: Participant perspectives on international experiential education. Journal of Research in International Education, 11(2), 165–180.
Kasl, E., & Yorks, L. (2016). Do I really know you? Do you really know me? Empathy amid diversity in differing learning contexts. Adult Education Quarterly, 66(1), 3-20.
Kirkpatrick, H., Tweedell, D., & Semogas, D. (2011). Transformative learning through a research practicum for undergraduate nursing students. Journal of Nursing Education, 50(10), 595–598. https://doi.org/10.3928/01484834-20110715-03
Klein, J., & Wikan, G. (2019). Teacher education and international practice programmes: Reflections on transformative learning and global citizenship. Teaching & Teacher Education, 79, 93–100. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2018.12.003
Laver, S., & Croxon, L. (2015). Narrative pedagogy with evolving case study – A transformative approach to gerontic nursing practice for undergraduate nursing students. Nurse Education in Practice, 15(5), 341–344. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nepr.2015.04.002
Lederach, J. P. (2005). The moral imagination: The art and soul of building peace. Oxford University Press.
Liu, K. (2015). Critical reflection as a framework for transformative learning in teacher education. Educational Review, 67(2), 135–157. https://doi.org/10.1080/00131911.2013.839546
Livingston, J.E. (2019). Developing professional identities and fostering resilience in medical students and residents: Transformative learning on the Texas-Mexico border. In T.J.Carter, C.J. Boden, & K. Peno (Eds.). Transformative Learning in Healthcare and Helping Professions Education: Building Resilient Professional Identities. IAP.
Mezirow, J. (1991). Transformative dimensions of adult learning. San Francisco , CA: Jossey-Bass.
Mezirow, J. (2000). Learning as transformation: Critical perspectives on a theory in progress. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
Ministerio de Agricultura y Desarrollo Rural. (2017). El Desarrollo Rural en Cifras. 2. Evolución de los determinantes de la pobreza rural en Colombia 2010-2016. Disponible en http://bibliotecadigital.agronet.gov.co/handle/11438/8597.
Morales, J. S. (2018). The impact of internal displacement on destination communities: Evidence from the Colombian conflict. Journal of Development Economics, 131, 132-150.
NAFSA. (2020a). International education: What place in U.S. diplomacy? Retrieved from:https://www.nafsa.org/about/about-international-education/international-education-what-place-us-diplomacy
NAFSA. (2020b). The role of international education in peacebuilding. Retrieved from:https://www.nafsa.org/about/about-international-education/role-international-education-peacebuilding
Namaste, N. B. (2017). Designing and evaluating students’ transformative learning. Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 8(3).
Samaras, A.P., Hjalmarson, M., Bland, L. C., Nelson, J. K., & Christopher, E. K. (2019). Self-study as a method for engaging STEM faculty in transformative change to improve teaching. International Journal of Teaching & Learning in Higher Education, 3(2), 195–213.
Sockman, B. R., & Sharma, P. (2008). Struggling toward a transformative model of instruction: It’s not so easy! Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of Research and Studies, 24(4), 1070–1082.
Stacey, G., Oxley, R., & Aubeeluck, A. (2015). Combining lived experience with the facilitation of enquiry-based learning: a “trigger” for transformative learning. Journal of Psychiatric & Mental Health Nursing, 22(7), 522–528. https://doi.org/10.1111/jpm.12228
Stone, G. A., & Duffy, L. N. (2015). Transformative learning theory: A systematic review of travel and tourism scholarship. Journal of Teaching in Travel & Tourism, 15(3), 204–224. https://doi.org/10.1080/15313220.2015.1059305
Strange, H., & Gibson, H. J. (2017). An investigation of experiential and transformative learning in study abroad programs. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 29(1), 85–100.
Taylor, E. W. (Mar 2007). An update of transformative learning theory: a critical review of the empirical research (1999-2005). International Journal of Lifelong Education, 26(2), 173-191.
Wyant, B. R. ., & Lockwood, B. (2018). Transformative learning, higher order thinking, and the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. Journal of Correctional Education, 69(3), 49–67.
Xing, W., Popov, V., Zhu, G., Horwitz, P., & McIntyre, C. (2019). The effects of transformative and non-transformative discourse on individual performance in collaborative-inquiry learning. Computers in Human Behavior, 98, 267–276. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2019.04.022
Yarosz, D. & Fountain, S. (2003) Facilitating transformative learning groups: Reflections on Mexico and Highlander. Adult Learning, 14(3), 17–19. https://doi.org/10.1177/104515950301400306
All published works remain the copyright of the author, and are published under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 License. Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attributions-ShareAlike 4.0 License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) following the journal's published version of the work, as it can lead to productive exchanges and greater citation of published work.