Facilitating transformative learning: a framework for practice

Annotation for Facilitating transformative learning: a framework for practice

Apte J.. 2009. Facilitating transformative learning: a framework for practice. Australian Journal of Adult Learning. 49(1)


Explores challenges involved in facilitating transformative learning and presents a framework for practice from the perspective of the facilitator.

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Key Findings: 

This article creates a framework of practice for facilitating transformative learning that is made up of four components. These components relate to frames of reference, learning triggers, periods of retreat or defensive behaviour, and the development of alternative perspectives. These components are not viewed as sequential steps, but are rather circular and recursive. The framework also encourages reflection by both participants and facilitators, and may be used in the development, reflection or evaluation phases of programs. Some of the benefits of a structured approach to transformative learning, such as the use of this framework, include opportunities for: (i) better understanding specific actions that promote transformative learning possibilities; (ii) increasing the transformative impact of program design; (iii) understanding how participants support their own learning and then fostering that learning; (iv) becoming alert to potential issues that may arise at different stages; and (v) better understanding challenges generally, from a facilitator perspective. Through the implementation of this framework, a range of challenges and opportunities are identified within complex processes of learning and change. It is argued that understanding the complexities of transformative learning is now an imperative for research in this area. This article attempts to provide some insight.


This framework may become relevant where adaptive learning processes are attempting to promote transformative change within small groups. One of its strengths is that, not only does it draw attention to potential challenges among participants, but it also encourages facilitators to reflect and become more aware of their own assumptions. This is critical for a balanced approach to the transformative learning process.