Thinking at the Graduate Level

Private - accessible only to group members

Thinking at the Graduate Level

It is seen not simply as mastering more and more knowledge and skills in a cumulative way, but as making conceptual leaps in understanding and viewing the world – as transformative more than additive” (Merrifield, 2000, p. 12 as citied by Kerka, p.1).

EEC is a transformative learning process. Transformative learning helps us to explore our own personal frames of reference so that we may engage in a process of changing how we “know”, how we make meaning. An Australian adult and continuing education curriculum framework (Bradshaw, 1999) also takes a transformative approach. The curriculum recognizes the significant contribution of learning to the creation of personal and social futures. It is intended to provide “a solid foundation for a full and active life for the variety of roles we play” (Bradshaw, 1999 as cited by Kerka, 2000, p.1).

This framework contains eight lifelong learning goals that focus on higher-order thinking:

  1. Understand complex systems that interact unpredictably
  2. Identify and integrate existing and emerging personal, local, national, and global perspectives
  3. Prosper with different paradoxical and multiple sets of realities
  4. See and make connections between past, present, and future
  5. Encourage sustainability in relationships and the environment
  6. Engage in a process of change, privately, publicly, civically, and occupationally throughout life
  7. Extend learning styles and repertoires
  8. Develop insights through questioning

Underlying these goals are four key principles:

  • Multiplicity
  • Connectedness
  • Critical intelligence
  • Transformation

It might be helpful as you journey your way through EEC to keep this list posted for handy reference. Ask yourself from time to time: “Am I engaging in this level of thinking?”

Reference: Kerka, S. (2001). The Balancing Act of Adult Life . ERIC Digest no. 229.