Call for Proposals

Our invitation to you…

We invite you to submit proposals, and join us, for the co-hosted XV biennial International Transformative Learning Conference (ITLC) to be held at the University of Siena, Tuscany, Italy, September 11th – 13th 2024.

Conference Title

GETTING TRANSFORMATION INTO GOOD TROUBLE: MAKING NEW SPACES OF POSSIBILITY WITH COMMUNITY AND IN PRACTICE

Fostering liberating conditions for making more autonomous and informed choices and developing a sense of self-empowerment is the cardinal goal of adult education. … Adult educators create protected learning environments in which the conditions of social democracy necessary for transformative learning are fostered.

(Mezirow, 2000: 26, 31)

The University of Siena is honored to host the 2024 ITLC after a pandemic experience that has limited the possibility to learn with other people, having a holistic experience in contact with nature, the cultural heritage and the Eco life diversity.

We invite proposals for paper presentations, experiential sessions, symposia, roundtables and Pecha Kucha performances. Submissions will be done electronically. Details and instructions for submission are provided below.

October 31, 2023  –  Proposals due

February 15, 2024*  –  Proposal acceptance notification

April 15, 2024*  –  Final Papers submitted

We look forward to welcoming you to Siena (Italy) next fall!

* New dates as of January 1, 2024

Conference Topic

In the 2024 International Transformative Learning Conference we want to restore, revive, and reimagine the ITLC Community after experiencing more than two years of a pandemic. We invite you to join us in reimagining and co-creating our community.

We ask you to join our quest for understanding transformation and transformative learning through getting transformation into good trouble! American Civil Rights Activist John Lewis suggests we shall not be afraid to get into good trouble, necessary trouble. Coming together as a community of scholars, scholar-practitioners, and practitioners, we want to envision transformation and transformative learning anew through putting our (self-)understanding of transformation at risk. Regaining a new sense of direction as a community intertwined with getting our (self-)understanding into good trouble. Some questions to consider:

  • How could we trouble transformative learning and transformation?
  • How do we want to reimagine what it means to transform and to learn transformatively?
  • How can we radically question our (own) (self-)understanding of what it means to transform ourselves, the communities we live in and society as a whole? This might include but is not limited to asking what is beneath the tip of the iceberg of the theory and research on transformative learning?
  • How can we as educators and researchers’ “trouble” our language for naming the phenomenon of transformation and transformative learning?
  • What are aspects we have not researched yet?
  • How can we step outside our comfort zone as researchers and become learners with questions that get us into good trouble?
  • How can we tackle our blind-spots, chase our curiosity, explore our uncertainty and not-knowing, shed some light on the dark side of transformation, and engage with ambiguity, being out-of-control, and the dangerous, risky, and existential dimensions of transformation. This implies owning a sense of loss and new, unknown ways of being and living our lives in the aftermath of transformation.

In the 2024 International Transformative Learning Conference, it is our goal to offer a space where we can “disentangle ourselves” (Oakeshott, 1989) – as researchers, practitioners and members of a community – for some time, from the urgencies of today’s world (catastrophe, crisis, pandemic, war, climate change, etc.) to join the inquiry in which we seek a new understanding of transformation and transformative learning, troubling our explicit and implicit assumptions.

What are possible ways to get into good trouble? How do we separate different strands (Dirkx, 1998) and lenses (Taylor, 1998) of transformative learning and how can we rethink and reimagine them together and in conversation with each other? In order to join this quest for regaining a sense of direction and seeking to understand transformative learning and the phenomenon of transformation anew, we need to be aware of where we are coming from, our position(ality), not necessarily knowing where we will end up and what our new understanding will be like. From our various positions and perspectives, each proposal should find its own way to re-frame transformation and transformative learning not as an output to be accounted for, but as a process for troubling, re/search/ing, re-inventing and re-imagining, and re-living.

Types of Submissions

We welcome submissions in the forms of paper presentations, experiential sessions, rountables, symposia and PechaKucha. Descriptions, proposal requirements, and evaluation criteria for each session type are provided below.

Paper Presentations

Papers must address transformative learning. Please be clear about how you define and apply this concept. Papers should be based either on:

  • Research (e.g., quantitative or qualitative research, mixed-methods research, action-research, case study, meta-analysis, etc.)
  • Theory (e.g., conceptual study, model or theory development, positioning paper, etc.)
  • Specific practice (applications in a real-world environment that tests or challenges existing theory, proposes new actions, or extends the practice beyond formal settings)
  • Transformation-in-action (e.g. individuals or organizations outside of the scholarship of transformative learning engaging in the same philosophy and practices as transformative learning and education)
800-1200 words including references and other supporting material
Up to 3500 words, including references and other supporting material

For all proposals:

  1. Connection of topic to transformative learning explained clearly
  2. Theoretical basis for conceptualizing transformative learning explained clearly
  3. Quality of writing: well-crafted sentences, clear explanations and logic, accessible language

Additional criteria for paper sessions:

  • Makes significant contribution to discourse about theory, practice, and/or research

Experiential Sessions

Experiential sessions demonstrate new and innovative practices in transformative learning through creative, interactive formats. These sessions will illustrate theoretical, practical, and experiential integration. We invite and encourage using, e.g., video, dramatizations, graphic arts, poetry, movement, and other symbolic forms. When designing your session keep in mind that participants should be substantively and actively engaged throughout.

Proposals for experiential sessions should include both the theoretical perspective, which frames the session, a plan for the flow of the workshop and the list of equipment or requirements. Maximum duration of experiential session is 90 min.

800-1200 words including references and other supporting material
Up to 3500 words, including references and other supporting material

For all proposals:

  1. Connection of topic to transformative learning explained clearly
  2. Theoretical basis for conceptualizing transformative learning explained clearly
  3. Quality of writing: well-crafted sentences, clear explanations and logic, accessible language

Additional criteria for experiential sessions:

  • Contributes to participants’ ideas related to theory, practice, and/or research.
  • * Please include an explicit description of the experiential activity and a summary of how the session will be structured.

Symposia Sessions

Proposals should include a group of three to five authors discussing contradictory or complementary points of view related to a shared topic. We welcome international collaboration.
800-1200 words including references and other supporting material
Up to 7000 words, including references and other supporting material

For all proposals:

  1. Connection of topic to transformative learning explained clearly
  2. Theoretical basis for conceptualizing transformative learning explained clearly
  3. Quality of writing: well-crafted sentences, clear explanations and logic, accessible language

Additional criteria for symposia sessions:

  • Makes a significant contribution to discourse about theory, practice, and/or research through complementary or contradictory points of view.

Roundtable Sessions

The roundtable is an informal and relaxed context for researchers, including graduate students, to discuss work in progress. Roundtable proposals should describe the questions, issues, or topics author/s would like to explore.

800-1200 words including references and other supporting material
Up to 3500 words, including references and other supporting material

For all proposals:

  1. Connection of topic to transformative learning explained clearly
  2. Theoretical basis for conceptualizing transformative learning explained clearly
  3. Quality of writing: well-crafted sentences, clear explanations and logic, accessible language

Additional criteria for roundtable sessions:

  • Potential significance of contribution to discourse about theory, practice and/or research.
  • * Please include a clear description of the strategy you will use to help participants engage with a topic, questions, or issues that the roundtable author wants to explore.

PechaKucha Presentations

Originally a Japanese type of storytelling, in this session presenters will have 20 slides that are shown for 20 seconds each (6 minutes and 40 seconds total). The presenter must coordinate their presentation with the automatic movement of the slides. These sessions are open to any topic, perspective, or practice within the larger domain of transformative learning and transformative education.

800-1200 words including references and other supporting material
Up to 3500 words, including references and other supporting material

For all proposals:

  1. Connection of topic to transformative learning explained clearly
  2. Theoretical basis for conceptualizing transformative learning explained clearly
  3. Quality of writing: well-crafted sentences, clear explanations and logic, accessible language

Additional criteria for PechaKucha sessions:

  • Makes strong connections to transformative learning and/or transformative education.
  • * Please include a clear description of the presentation topic, perspective, or practice.

* Given concerns about self-plagiarism policies that have been instituted by some academic journals (Callahan, 2014), you may choose not to submit a full paper if your proposal is selected. (We suggest that you contact target journals to inquire about their policies.) However, we strongly encourage you to submit a full paper to be included in the proceedings. Please note that only full papers will be considered for the Jack Mezirow Award.

** More about meeting expectations for the first two criteria:

1.  Connection of topic to transformative learning explained clearly

In explaining the relationship of your topic to transformative learning, be mindful that the field of transformative learning includes theorists and practitioners from various disciplines and sites of practice. Do not assume shared knowledge or points of view. Explicitly describe your perspective on how the content and/or process of transformative learning relates to your topic.

2.  Theoretical basis for conceptualizing transformative learning explained clearly

Explain the key concepts that inform your perceptions about transformative learning and situate those concepts in the theory or theories that influence your conceptualization. Although your conceptualization of transformative learning can be related to any theoretical point of view, it is essential that you explicitly identify the theory that informs your perspective. Your work may draw on other theories that relate to your topic, but identification of these theories does not meet this criterion.

Instructions for Submissions

Rule of Two
Rule of 2: No more than two submissions for each author. Just one proposal for each person as the first author.

Submission Guidelines
Keep in the mind the following when submitting your proposal using the online system:

  • All author information (name, email and affiliation) must be provided at the time of submission.
  • Abstract of no more than 200 words will be submitted separately from the proposal and is NOT included in the word count.
  • Proposal should not include any identifying information; author information will be collected separately and should not appear in your proposal.
  • You will be required to electronically sign a warrant statement when submitting your proposal.
  • All proof-reading is your responsibility and must be carried out prior to submitting your proposal. The editors reserve the right not to include any paper that, in their opinion, will reduce the quality of the proceedings.

Proposal Formatting

  • Proposals should be single-spaced and be 800-1200 words, including references and any other supporting materials.
  • Use US letter paper format, one-inch (2.54 cm) margins, 12 pt. font, Times New Roman.
  • Use APA Version 7 to format your manuscript.
  • Label your file as: ITLC2024_Proposal.
  • Submit proposals as a Microsoft Word attachment in .doc or .docx format only.

Proposal body

  • Title of presentation
  • Type of presentation (paper presentation, experiential session, PechaKucha, symposium or roundtable)
  • Proposal summary that includes appropriate citations and list of references
  • Include keywords (list no more than five)
  • Do not include your name(s) or any identifying information anywhere in your proposal

Questions? Please write to us at: ITLC2024-SC@intertla.org

Submitting Your Proposal 
Proposals should be submitted through the online abstract management system, Oxford Abstracts, at itlc2024.intertla.org/submit. The first author will need to create a new user account with Oxford Abstracts in order to submit the proposal. Additional authors may also create a user account and should use the same email address provided in the proposal if they wish to view and edit the proposal or see it in their submissions dashboard. They can also submit additional proposals through this account. Proposals can be edited or withdrawn up until 11:59pm US Eastern time on October 31, 2023.

Fuller instructions on submitting a proposal are provided on the Oxford Abstracts site. Click the Submit a Proposal button below to get started.

Volunteer to Review

If you are interested in serving as a reviewer of proposals for the conference, please click the button below to register your details by October 14, 2023:

AWARDS

Jack Mezirow Living Theory Of Transformative Learning Award

The Jack Mezirow Living Theory of Transformative Learning Award is inspired by Jack Mezirow’s efforts to engage the field of adult education in thinking theoretically about adult learning. To promote reflection about what he called “a theory in progress,” Mezirow founded the International Transformative Learning Conference in 1998. In prior decades he had developed his own vision about the transformative dimensions of adult learning, generating lively discourse in the field of adult education as scholars and practitioners expanded, applied, and critiqued his ideas.

Mezirow (2012) defined transformative learning as “the process of using a prior interpretation to construe a new or revised interpretation of the meaning of one’s experience as a guide to future action” (p. 74). Transformed frames of reference are “more inclusive, discriminating, open, emotionally capable of change, and reflective” (p. 76). The recipient of the Jack Mezirow Award contributes to living theory by addressing frames of reference about transformative learning, providing scholars and practitioners with a more inclusive, discriminating, open, reflective theoretical and practical perspective that is dynamic in its possibilities for growth and change.

The Jack Mezirow Living Theory of Transformative Learning Award is given at the International Transformative Learning Conference, held every two years. The award was established in 2014 and was awarded for the first time at the conference that year.

ELIGIBILITY

  • All papers, experiential sessions, and symposia accepted for inclusion at the conference are eligible for the award, except those with an author who is a member of the selection committee.
  • Single or jointly authored papers are considered for the award.
  • The paper should extend theory, research, and/or practice in a way that reflects a vision of living theory in progress, as described above.
  • The award can be given for promising new perspectives as well as more established or researched perspectives.

EVALUATION CRITERIA

  • The theoretical perspective of transformative learning theory is clear and well-articulated.
  • Rationale for the paper is persuasive.
  • The paper is original and creative.
  • The paper is clearly written and engaging.
  • The methodology and results are clearly described.
  • The paper makes a significant contribution to theory, practice, and/or research.

Please direct any questions to: ITLCMezirowAward@intertla.org.

Patricia Cranton Distinguished Dissertation Award

The International Transformative Learning Association recognizes emerging scholars by conferring the Patricia Cranton Distinguished Dissertation Award. This award commends a distinguished doctoral dissertation for its exemplary scholarship and contriburtion to the transdisciplinary field of transformative learning.

PURPOSE OF THE AWARD
This Award has three aims:

  • To recognize and honor emerging scholars who extend and inform a living theory of transformative learning.
  • To acknowledge originality and quality of inquiry.
  • To invite and showcase contributions from diverse perspectives of transformative learning theory and/or praxis.

In order to be eligible for this award, a dissertation must have been accepted for degree conferral between January 2022 and May 2024. Please submit an application for consideration by March 1, 2024 according to the following guidelines.

Award winners should plan on attending the 2024 Conference at the University of Siena (IT), September 11-13, 2024.

The submission should include:

  • A cover page that identifies:

Dissertation title; Author; Author’s current affiliation; Author’s current email address; Author’s current telephone number; Program degree earned; Degree granting institution; Date of defense and graduation date; Dissertation Chair.

  • A recommendation letter and verification of defense date from the candidate’s dissertation committee chair (if chair is unavailable the letter can come from another committee member), to be sent in a separate email to the following address: ITLADissertationAward@intertla.org
  • Chapter 1 of the dissertation. OR if Chapter 1 does not include the following – problem statement, rationale, purpose, theoretical framework, research questions and significance of the study – send a supplemental description of this content.
  • An essay of 1000-1500 words (3-5 pages, double spaced, Times New Roman 12-point font) that responds to the following question:

In what ways does this dissertation extend and inform a living theory of transformative learning? As you respond to this question in your short essay, consider theoretical framework, methodology, research findings and implications for practice.

    • All submissions must adhere to APA 7 formatting guidelines and demonstrate quality of scholarly writing.
    • Submissions must be in English.

    A small group of applicants will be selected as finalists and asked to submit their full dissertations, written in English, at a later date.

    SUBMISSION DEADLINE

    • Applicant’s materials due March 1, 2024

    Questions can be directed via email to: ITLADissertationAward@intertla.org.

    Community leadership Award

    The ITLA Community Leadership Award recognizes sustained leadership in fostering and nurturing the International Transformative Learning Conference (ITLC) and the community association (ITLA)

    PURPOSE OF THE AWARD
    The award recognizes sustained leadership in three areas:

    1.  Making significant, innovative and developmental contributions to the long term success of the conference (ITLC).
    2.  Advancing the work of the International Transformative Learning Association (ITLA).
    3.  Working toward broadening global participation and inclusion in the ITLC and/or ITLA.

    PROCESS FOR NOMINATION
    Consider nominating a colleague for this prestigious award.

    Nominators should write a brief letter (no more than 500 words) describing why the candidate merits this award, addressing one or more of the three leadership areas listed above. Below is a list of activities that the nominator might consider:

    • Serving on or chairing conference planning committees, such as proposal evaluation, planning and design of conferences, stewardship of ITLC philosophy and practice, publicity, coordination of proceedings, etc.
    • Serving in the ITLA leadership circle or ad hoc committees
    • Leadership during conference, such as facilitating activities, moderating panels, keynote speaker
    • Actively promoting activities of ITLA and/or ITLC in diverse geographic locations
    • Recruiting and mentoring new scholars
    • Presenting research
    • Consistent presence at ITLC

    NOMINATION INSTRUCTIONS AND DEADLINE

    Nominations are due on or before April 1, 2024 and may be made by completing the following form:

    Questions can be directed via email to: awards@intertla.org.