Facilitating Transformative Learning Groups: Reflections on Mexico and Highlander

By Yarosz, Donald J.; Fountain, Susan | Adult Learning, Summer 2003 | Go to article overview

Facilitating Transformative Learning Groups: Reflections on Mexico and Highlander


Yarosz, Donald J., Fountain, Susan, Adult Learning


Introduction

In the mid 1990s, the authors participated in two trips to learn about facilitating group transformative learning in differing cultural contexts. The first trip was to Guanajuato, Mexico, in order to engage in the systematic process of learning about popular adult education there.

Popular education in Mexico is well developed and our host, Felix Cadena, is considered to be one of the leading experts in this methodology in all of Latin America. Popular education in the Mexican context is influenced by Paulo Freire's work. After studying the implementation of transformational learning strategies all across SouthAmerica, Cadena (1991) developed, through dialogue with those who had been struggling with empowering the disenfranchised, a systematic approach to implementing transformational learning or praxis. His approach, which draws on the work of others, emphasizes community enhancement through self-sufficiency It integrates the respectful dialogue of individuals in the community working in cooperation to solve community problems. It is through the process of identifying and solving problems that people and communities are empowered. Rather than solutions being driven by a pre-conceived theory, solutions to practical problems are based on peoples' experience as they grapple to try to solve problems for themselves. However, it is Cadena's belief that unless praxis is implemented in a systematic way, the process can break down and agreed upon goals and objectives may not be reached.

The second journey to the Highlander Center (Highlander) was held as an international conference with representatives from Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Highlander is one of the most well--known residential popular education organizations in the United States. In the decades since 1932, activists have gathered to reflect upon and prepare for activities designed to address historically well-known social, environmental, and economic problems facing the people of the South, including, but not limited to, the Southern labor movements of the 1930s, the Civil Rights Movement of the 1940s- 1960s, and the Appalachian people's movements of the 1970s-1980s. Highlander's work is dedicated to the eradication of human suffering through the facilitation of participatory social and educational strategies designed to help all people.

The purpose of these educational experiences was to learn more about the methods as well as issues related to implementing transformative learning strategies from a cross-contextual perspective. We reflect upon our experience as well as the documentation collected by the group's memory committee on both trips in order to provide guidance to those wishing to implement these strategies, if they feel they are appropriate to their own context. The memory committee consisted of three members who were responsible for taking notes and organizing all materials collected on our journey Hopefully, our experience can provide general guidance for those who work with adult educators in many settings.

In order to study transformative learning in Mexico, the Popular Adult Education Group (PAEG) of Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, was formed. PAEG actually adopted the principles of popular education--systematization--to facilitate our learning about its principles when we journeyed to Mexico. Systemization is engaged in by purposefully organizing individuals into groups to regularly share personal reflections upon the day's activities in order to evaluate the group's progress toward the collective goal(s) and to facilitate communication among its members. At Highlander, the atmosphere was more collegial and participatory, with less rigorous emphasis on participatory pre-planning, reflection, group process, and experience.

It is our contention that what we learned from our experience in Mexico was deeper and more profound because of the meticulous attention paid to facilitating group process through systematization (Cadena, 1991), which was thoroughly and successfully implemented. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Facilitating Transformative Learning Groups: Reflections on Mexico and Highlander
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.