A Review of Transformative Learning Theory with Regards to its Potential Application in Engineering Education

Douglas Kum Tien Tong, Satesh Namasivayam, Logendra Stanley Ponniah

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Citations (Scopus)


Global challenges are increasing in complexity. Some of these key challenges are expressed in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges. With regards to these challenges, engineers have a vital role to play. Therefore, it is necessary for their training to ensure that they possess the requisite capability. In view of this, a more holistic educational approach, one that emphasizes both the informative and transformative aspects of learning is expected to be necessary. This is because expertise in technological innovation alone may not be wholly adequate due to the complexity of the challenges. The solutions are expected to entail a more holistic approach in which engineers are required to understand the broader context in which technological solutions are situated, appreciate the multi and interdisciplinary nature of the complexity, be able to harness resources to confront them as well as possess an underlying passion, desire and belief to overcome these challenges. Transformative learning differs from informative learning in that its aim is not about adding to a person’s store of knowledge but is about facilitating changes to the person’s worldview, self, epistemology, ontology, behavior or capacity. This paper seeks to review literature on transformative learning theory and to derive some insight into its potential application in engineering education.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Engineering Research Conference - 12th EURECA 2019
PublisherAIP Publishing
ISBN (Print)9780735418806
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2019

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X


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