Venturing Through the Looking Glass: An Instance of Transformative Learning in Adult Education

  • Judith MacIntosh University of New Brunswick
  • Nancy Wiggins University of New Brunswick


Adult learners who are introduced to transformative learning in their university education initially tend to find the experience strikingly different from their previous educational programs. For Registered Nurses beginning a baccalaureate degree in nursing, learning in a transformative environment may be as odd to them as was the experience of Lewis Carroll's Alice on the other side of the Looking Glass. For their teachers, examining a common experience, not common to learners, in an uncommon manner expands the understanding of the process. Using the imaginative work of Lewis Carroll, the authors of this paper relate it to the experiences of these adult learners and expound on the strategies being used to facilitate the transformative process in adult education. The perspectives developed by the UNB nursing teachers and the strategies they use to facilitate transformative learning are described.