This paper examines ways of applying transformative learning to a course in the humanities, entitled Chinese Literature and Film. It presents different transformative approaches to learning that challenge sets of assumptions and expectations, and reevaluates them to make them more inclusive, reflective, and receptive to changes in perceptions for students in this course. These changes in perceptions can lead to more creative and innovative ways of learning about Chinese literature and film. First, the paper gives an overview of transformative learning and the influence it has on learning by presenting research findings that provide practical evidence of transformational learning facilitating changes to practice, processes, and the overall delivery of a course on literature and film. Second, the paper discusses my own research in transformative education as it relates to higher learning environments, including research findings on the effect of more holistic approaches to cultivating innovation, initiative, resourcefulness, and a heightened sense of meaningful participation in learning-related classroom activities. The paper provides examples of university students engaging in learning modules that encourage direct and active learning experiences, that is, provide an experiential “hands-on” dimension of transformative learning that relates directly to the curriculum of this literature and film course. Finally, the paper shares useful information on the instructional processes that guided the course, student reflections on course content and its mode of delivery, and qualitative feedback from students in the form of research essays and course evaluations. The interpretation of the impact of integrating a transformative dimension to a formal university course in the humanities is discussed, focusing on practical instructional approaches to promote heightened student awareness, a greater sense of connection to the human factor behind an interdisciplinary approach to study common themes in the humanities, and the validation of intuitive thinking and reflective development in addressing these themes.
|Keywords:||Educational Philosophy, Consciousness Development, Transformative Education, Chinese Literature and Film|
Professor, Asian Studies, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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