BOEHNERT, J., 2011. Transformative learning in sustainable design education. IN: Niedderer, K., Mey, K. and Roworth-Stokes, S.(eds.) EKSIG 2011: SkinDeep - Experiential Knowledge and Multi Sensory Communication - Proceedings of the International Conference 2011 of the DRS Special Interest Group on Experiential Knowledge. Farnham: University for the Creative Arts, Paper no 15.
Both designers and educators have a unique role to play in the creation of sustainable futures due to their ability to help people see new realities, develop new cognitive skills for dealing with complexity and create the social capacity to act on the basis of new knowledge. Transformative learning aims to build new cognitive capacities as well the agency to put new knowledge into practice. This learning has the potential to transcend the notorious value/action gap that divides our awareness of environmental threats from our capacity to take appropriate action. Beyond the mere dissemination of information, transformative learning engages participants in dialogic and experiential learning processes with the aim of creating deep learning experiences. Because the problems with regards to sustainability are both complex and deeply entrenched into our culture, these transformative learning processes are essential for the learning associated with sustainability and ecological literacy. Transformative learning is a pedagogic practice developed in and women's education in the 1970s offering frameworks and strategies that can be adapted to address current issues. This paper describes a transformative learning project I recently developed as part of my practice based doctoral research on the visual communication of ecological literacy.
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