Starting in February 2020, I'll be part of a 6-month-long project 'Building capacity for transformative learning' (herein 'the Project'), which received funding within the scope of the Erasmus+ initiative for adult education. Many thanks to the Project's Netherlands-based partner, Neza Krek, for bringing me -- along with a handful of other educators in the Netherlands -- on as a participant!
The Erasmus+ initiative broadly focuses on increasing 'adult educators' competences to use more deeply engaging learning methods in their teaching and training programmes. The Project specifically targets 'adult education trainers who have a deep curiosity and passion to innovate in their learning environments towards a more transformative education, e.g.: the teaching of meta-skills, more self-directed learning, approaches that can make the students take increased responsibility for their own learning and self-construction of meaning' (Hosting Transformation 2019).
The Project 'compiles theories and practices about “transformative learning” into a competence framework, a training program, a book and a blended learning course in an online learning environment' (Hosting Transformation 2019). It draws on Mezirow's transformative learning theory and Robert Kegan's constructive-developmental approach. It will involve a week-long offline training session in Croatia at the end of February and several online group meet-ups over the months that follow.
This connects up well with the vertical literacy initiative that Anke de Vrieze and Dave Pendle are developing at Wageningen University, called 'Integrating Head, Heart & Hands in Higher Education'. This initiative will be exploring how we can transform education from head-centric to whole-person education. It draws on Theory U, a process designed to catalyse systems change, encompassing the personal, collective and large-scale dimensions of societal change which was developed by action researchers at MIT and employed by multidisciplinary leaders from all around the world for the last 20 years. Theory U is the brainchild of Otto Scharmer, Senior Lecturer at the MIT Management Sloan School and co-founder of the Presencing Institute. I'm also looking forward to being part of the group of Wageningen University educators that will be learning and applying these theories and techniques together within the scope of the 'Integrating Head, Heart & Hands in Higher Education' iniative.