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2016 Transformative Learning Conference

Downtown, Oklahoma City, OK, USA
March 31- April 1, 2016

Hosted by the University of Central Oklahoma

Making Transformation Visible

Keynote by Dr. Stephen Brookfield
Pre-Conference Workshop by Dr. Dee Fink



About the Conference:

The 6th annual conference on Transformative Learning will take place on March 31-April 1, 2016 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States. The conference will be hosted by the University of Central Oklahoma. National Geographic Traveler rated Oklahoma City as one of the 20 top "must-see...go-now destinations" of 2015.

This year's theme, Making Transformation Visible, focuses on the examination and experience of transformation itself. The definitions of transformation vary; yet, one common feature is that there is a significant change in one's perspective. 

Our keynote speaker, Stephen Brookfield, in writing about the common transformative trigger, disorienting dilemmas, states that...

The trick with designing a disorienting dilemma is that it has to be unsettling enough to shake students out of the comfort zone, but not so discomforting that those students will do their best to avoid dealing with it. 

(2012, Teaching for Critical Thinking, Jossey-Bass, p. 72)

The first issue of the ejournal linked to the conference, the Journal of Transformative Learning, Vol. 3(1), 2016 [Retrieved from] offers some definitions:

...learning which implies change in the identity of the learner.

(K. Illeris, p. 46)

Transformative experience (TE) occurs when students apply classroom concepts to their everyday experience in a way that facilitates a change in perception of that experience... TE can be thought of as a "micro" form of transformative learning that is tied to particular content and doesn't necessarily lead to a holistic change in an individual's worldview.

(B.C. Heddy & K.J. Pugh, p. 53)

The conference host, the University of Central Oklahoma's definition of transformative learning is, "developing beyond-disciplinary skills and expands students' perspectives of their relationships with self, others, community, and environment." [Retrieved from UCO ]

Since the application, recognition, measurement, and experience itself of transformative learning is relatively new to higher education in the United States, this year's conference will include a series of 3 Round-Robin Round Tables where over 40 participants will discuss these experiences. We also will have a series of three flights of 75-minute sessions for participants to deeply engage on this issue

​Since ​2009, ​The ​University ​of ​Central ​Oklahoma ​formalized ​a ​campus-wide ​transformative ​learning ​initiative ​in ​both ​curricular ​and ​co-curricular ​learning ​and ​has hosted conferences for several years. Past ​Transformative ​Learning ​Conferences ​have ​featured ​keynoters ​Vincent ​Tinto, ​Melissa ​Peet, ​​Dan ​Glisczinski, and Eric Mazur.

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Keynote Presenter:

Dr. Stephen Brookfield

Since beginning his teaching career in 1970, Stephen Brookfield has worked in England, Canada, Australia, and the United States, teaching in a variety of college settings. He has written, co-written or edited seventeen books on adult learning, teaching, critical thinking, discussion methods and critical theory, six of which have won the Cyril O. Houle World Award for Literature in Adult Education (in 1986, 1989, 1996, 2005, 2011 and 2012).

During 2002, he was a Visiting Professor at Harvard University. After 10 years as a Professor of Higher and Adult Education at Columbia University in New York, he now holds the John Ireland Endowed Chair at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota where he recently won the university's Diversity Leadership Teaching & Research Award and also the John Ireland Presidential Award for Outstanding Achievement as a Teacher/Scholar. 

Some of his books are: 

  • The Skillful Teacher: On Trust, Technique, and Responsiveness in the Classroom (3rd edition, 2015)
  • Engaging Imagination: Helping Students Become Creative and Reflective Thinkers co-authored by Allison James (2014)
  • Powerful Techniques for Teaching Adults (2013)
  • Teaching for Critical Thinking: Tools and Techniques to Help Students Question Their Assumptions (2011)
  • The Power of Critical Theory: Liberating Adult Learning and Teaching (2005)
  • Discussion as a Way of Teaching co-authored by Stephen Preskill (2nd edition, 2005)
  • Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher (1995)
  • Developing Critical Thinkers (1984)

Dr. Stephen Brookfield

Dr. Stephen Brookfield, conference keynoter, 2008 winner of the Morris T. Keeton Award of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, and author/editor of 17 books.



Pre-Conference Workshop Presenter:

Dr. Dee Fink

Dee is currently working as a consultant in higher education ( Previously he was the founding director of the Instructional Development Program at the University of Oklahoma (1979-2005). Dee has been active in the POD Network [Professional and Organizational Development] in Higher Education, the largest faculty development organization in the United States. He served on the Core Committee (1999-2002), directed the workshop at the annual conference for new faculty developers, called “Getting Started”, (1992-2002), and was President of POD (2004-2005). 

While serving as director of the Instructional Development Program, he led workshops for faculty at the University of Oklahoma on numerous topics related to college teaching. In the last several years, he has led numerous workshops at conferences and campuses in the US, Canada, Mexico, the Middle East, and Asia, primarily on: integrated course design, what campus leaders can do to promote better teaching and learning across campus, and team-based learning.

He has received two awards for teaching: The University of Oklahoma recipient of the national teaching award presented by the American Association of Higher Education (AAHE), the Jaime Escalante "Stand and Deliver" Award, April, 1989 and Outstanding Faculty Award, College of Liberal Studies, University of Oklahoma, 1992. His most recent major publication is: Creating Significant Learning Experiences for College ClassroomsAn Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass: 2003.


Dr. Dee Fink

Dr. Dee Fink, conference pre-conference workshop presenter is active in the POD Network (Professional and Organizational Development) in Higher Education, the largest faculty development organization in the U.S., serving as 2004 President and many committees. Fink is author of Fink's Taxonomy and multiple books.



TL Conference 2016
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