Transformative Education Applied to a Course in Humanities: Chinese Literature and Film

By Charles Paul Beaupre.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

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

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 9, Issue 9, pp.13-24. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 771.139KB).

Dr. Charles Paul Beaupre

Professor, Asian Studies, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Dr. Beaupre has been a faculty member at Saint Mary’s University since 1994. He teaches primarily in the Asian Studies Program. For many years Dr. Beaupre has been investigating the subtle interrelationship of body, mind, and spirit. He has pursued this line of study in many East Asia settings, focusing on subtle energy enhancement, mainly through qigong. He has presented his findings at international academic conferences, and has conducted workshops and seminars on issues of health, wellness, and positive energy throughout North America. He is presently promoting two specific forms of wellness/spiritual development known as Jiankang Qigong and Taiji Qigong. His main area of research activity relates to cross-cultural educational psychology; he has been mainly interested in comparative (East-West) studies of learning/teaching approaches, as well as curricula and pedagogical activities informed by transformative learning. He has conducted research in all kinds of Asian educational settings, with a particular interest in those that feature holistic approaches to learning. His on-site ethnographic research has converged on education systems in East Asian countries that still attach importance to notions of learning based on ancient concepts of personal development, accentuating a body/mind/spirit connection.


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