Sunday, April 11, 2010

Transformative Learning

Mezirow seems to be using different language to describe the same phenomena Lonnie Athens' does in his process of violentization. I also believe that Bertram Brookes was onto the same thing with his 'fundamental equation of information science', i.e. you've gotta know what somebody already knows to build on it, or address their bias (and yes, we are all biased - I'm not suggesting that teaching is done without an agenda).

I've had my worldview changed over the time I spend studying Knowledge Management. I feel I have new lenses in which to view the world. It's also changed me in the way some of my convictions have been strengthened - and that was done by cognitive dissonance.

You see I was Director of Studies for a very shoddy Registered Training Organisation (RTO - Visa factory) when my first daughter was born. I was torn between being a good provider for my family and being able to provide a quality training environment for my students. How could I mentor my child if I sold out my values? I was literally feeling the cracks inside myself when I came home and shut down, drinking too much and going into a depressive spiral.

Luckily the owner forced me into a situation that made my choice easy. I was told to fire a teacher because she raised an OH&S issue. I walked out there and then, and spent the next six months unemployed, but with my baby daughter bonding. My next job has sent me on the path I am now pursuing, and I am a much happier person, better father, but still require more work on being a better husband (It's those strong convictions again, and not cutting other's the slack they deserve just because they hold views contrary to mine). You can choose your friends, but not your family... Did I really just say that?

So I've experienced by incremental change through study, and a tipping point in my professional life. And I guess although I didn't change direction, I grew and learnt more about myself in the process.

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