Intercultural competency: A transformative learning process

Edward W. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

221 Scopus citations


Intercultural competency is an adaptive capacity based on an inclusive and integrative world view which allows participants to effectively accommodate the demands of living in a host culture. Resea cultural competency over the last 25 years has ted to focus on identifying characteristics of participants indicative of successful intercultural experiences. Little if any research has approached the concept of intercultural competency from a learning perspective tat is, how participants learn to become interculturally competent The field of adult eda offers transformative learning theory that seems to partially explain this process. This study had a two-fold purpose: (a) to delineate the learning process of intercultural competency, and (b) to explore the theory of perspective transformation as a possible explanation for the learning and changes participants experience. The design of the study was qualitative, involving in-depth interviews with 12 interculturally competent participants. Analysis of the data resulted in a model illustrating the learning process of becoming interculturally competent The second part of the study revealed that Mezirow’stheoryofperspectivetransformationpartiallyexplainstheleaningprocess of intercultural competency. While both models share similar properties, this research extends our understanding of the theory of perspective transformation, particularly in the area of critical reflection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-174
Number of pages21
JournalAdult Education Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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