Document Server@UHasselt >
Research >
Research publications >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/4187

Title: Identity transformation as an intercontextual process.
Authors: DE WEERDT, Sven
Bouwen, R.
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: IP Publishing Ltd
Citation: Industry & Higher Education, 20(5). p. 317-326
Abstract: Our ever-changing society requires people to change concepts about themselves, the world, the past and the future. These concepts often are objects of identification in the sense that they relate to who we consider ourselves to be. We start from the proposition that increasing environmental change, diversity, and complexity asks for personal change, i.e. transformation rather than mere expansion. Education and training can be important vehicles to meet this challenge. This article tries to contribute to the theoretical understanding of this process of identity transformation. Starting from two theoretical traditions that adress identity and learning, the adult learning and situated learning tradition, we analyzed learning narratives of participants of a two-year experiential learning program and students intern. (1)CIGO, a 2-year-post-experience trining program for organization behavior professionals who are involved in organizational change and in HR-related practices, and (2) a 7-month student internship of last year senior students studying work and organizational psychology. In the analysis we focused mainly on the similarities between the learning experiences from both environments in order to develop a broad, integrative framework. We developed a model of transformational learning for two aspects or levels of their professional identity: (1)images and story of what we stand for and who we consider ourselves to be(learning scenario I); and (2)the development of a healthy self-worth and self-confidence(learning scenario II). Scenario I is based on self-examination, discomfort, anxiety, conflict and crisis; whereas scenario II describes a more harmonious process of self-validation and elevation. Both scenarios are also hypothetically interconnected. This connection can be summed up with the words "learning to trust and trusting to learn". The confirmation and continuation of a succesful transformation on the first level (scenario I) forms the basis for a growing sense of self-worth and self-confidence. On this second level outer-safety is transformde into inner-safety. And this increasing self-confidence (1) in its turn allows people to make a difference and transform their identity on the first level and(2) facilitates the translation of their transformed identity (within the learning context) into other contexts that really matter. We view this differentiation of transformational learning into two distinct and complementary processes or levels (i.e. scenario I en II) as a contribution of our research to the theoretical understanding of identity transformation. Further, transformative learning is conceived both as a process of relational repositioning and changing participation, and as an active process of meaning construction. And finally, we attempt to understand identity transformation from an intercontextual perspective in which learning is understood as the interplay of differences and congruence between contexts. Our findings e.g. suggest that, if the relational conditions are insufficient in the supposed learning context, the learning process possibly shifts to another context.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/4187
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Validation: vabb, 2010
Appears in Collections: Research publications

Files in This Item:

There are no files associated with this item.

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.