Transformational Experiences and Deep Learning: The Impact of An Intercultural Study Visit to India on UK Initial Teacher Education Students

Aug. 20, 2009

Source: Journal of Education for Teaching, Volume 35, Issue 3 August 2009 , pages 257 - 270

This article documents the impact of a study visit to south India in 2007 on students following courses in initial teacher education at Canterbury Christ Church University, UK.
The research was conducted by the two course leaders and employed a varied methodology.
Data collection involved open-ended questionnaires, self-reporting of emotions, video diaries, informal conversations and follow-up interviews.

The main finding was that the study visit was a powerful learning experience which transformed students' thinking by creating dissonance on a cognitive, emotional and existential level. These results are placed alongside current research in psychology and neuroscience to argue that a sense of hope and personal flourishing can be generated through experiences of this kind. This is supported by a model of transformational learning which highlights personal growth and development.

The authors conclude by proposing that the study visit provides an example of how intercultural understanding can reinvigorate teacher education with a sense of meaning and hope.

Updated: Nov. 09, 2009