Adult learning theories for instructional designers: Transformative learning

We often hear about “A-ha!” moments in corporate learning, but not everyone knows how to create them intentionally. Instructional designers strive to make these happen because they are extremely powerful and can make an entire course. It’s a well-known fact that behavioral change doesn’t happen easily, and these transformative experiences work wonders when it comes to getting employees to walk a different path.

Read more: What instructional designers need to know about behavioral change

The theory of transformative learning has been developed by Jack Mezirow. In a nutshell, adults don’t automatically apply their old understanding to new situations. Instead, they search for different perspectives to make sense of change. Even though adults tap into their previous experiences when faced with novel ones, they employ critical thinking, resulting in a total transformation of their understanding.

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