A conceptual validation of transformative learning theory

Heather L. Stuckey, Mark Peyrot, Riana Conway, Edward W. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The aim of this study is to evaluate the integrated transformative learning theory and quantitative measurement model developed by Stuckey and colleagues in 2013. Methods: The Transformative Leaning Survey (TLS) was administered as a cross-sectional web survey to 467 respondents recruited from a variety of sources. The questionnaire includes four transformative learning outcome measures (acting differently, deeper self-awareness, holding more open perspectives, experiencing a deep shift in worldview) and 14 transformative learning process measures in three domains (extra-rational, rational, social critique). Results: The majority of respondents were female (73.7 percent), white (70.7 percent), with a graduate degree (57.2 percent), and professional employment (56.1 percent); the median age was 35–44. Reliabilities (alpha) of TLS scales ranged from 0.68 to 0.91 (median = 0.78). Multivariate regression identified two rational process factors (Action, Disorienting Dilemma) and two social critique process factors (Empowerment, Unveiling Oppression) that had significant (p < 0.05) positive independent associations with multiple transformative learning outcome measures; no extra-rational process measures were significant. Conclusions: This study replicates, validates, and extends the development of the Transformative Leaning Survey and advances transformative learning theory by identifying drivers of transformative learning outcomes. Further quantitative, qualitative, and mixed method research on transformative learning is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1459-1474
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Science Quarterly
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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