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.

Past Award Recipients


Eunice Nyamupangedengu
Constance Khupe

University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Title: Experiences of Applying for Promotion as Counter-Cultural Transformative Learning

Patricia L. Carter
University of Georgia
Title: Exploring Visceral Experiences of Physiology: The Role of Embodied Cognition in Fostering Transformative Learning


Randee Lipson Lawrence
Brian Dashew
Karen Doyle Grossman
Teachers College, Columbia University
Title: Restoring the Possibility Critical Reflection Discourse: Using Imagined Dialogues to Rebuild Connections Across Political Divides

Alyssa E. Motter
Cheryl K. Baldwin
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Title: A Model of Dialogic Embodiment: Transformative Autoethnographic Dance

Honorable Mention

Robert Charles Cox
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Title: TROPOS (Transformative Outcomes and Process Scale): An Instrument to Assess and Explore Transformative Learning

Fay Fletcher
Rebecca Shortt
Alicia Hibbert

University of Alberta
Title: Transformative Narratives of Emerging and Evolving Indigenous Relations


Michel Alhadeff-Jones
Teachers College, Columbia University
Sunkhronos Institute, Switzerland
Title: Between Continuity and Discontinuity: Conceiving the Rhythms of Transformative Learning

Honorable Mention

Ingrid Andersen
Elizabeth J. Tisdell

Penn State University – Harrisburg
Title: Stories in the Agora: Transformative Learning through the Medium of Digital Storytelling of Personal Spiritual and Cultural Experiences

Cheryl K. Baldwin
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Title: Exploring Transformative Learning Praxis and Dignity in the Training Context for Lower-Wage Workers

Linden West
Canterbury Christ Church University, United Kingdom
Title: Transformative Learning (TL) at the Intersections of the Psychosocial: Comparing an Islamist and the Good TL Group


Ted Fleming
National University of Ireland, Maynooth
Title: Axel Honneth and the Struggle for Recognition: Implications for Transformative Learning

Honorable Mention

Fergal Finnegan
National University of Ireland/Maynooth University
Title: Embodied Experience, Transformative Learning and the Production of Space

Chad Hoggan
North Carolina State University
Title: Clarifying Transformational Outcomes

Sherry Kennedy-Reid
The George Washington University
Title: Toward Redefining Individual-Collective Transformative Learning: A Duality Approach

Maura Striano
Allesandra Romano
Maria Strollo

University of Naples’ “Frederico II”
Title: The Theatre of the Oppressed: An Experiential Practice to Promote Transformative Learning?