Honduran cloud forests and coral reefs : exploring the process of transformative learning in adolescents
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SubjectAdolescents; Experiential education; International expeditions; Scientific expeditions; Transformative learning
This research project was based on the experiences of 12 adolescents, aged 16 – 18, who participated in a two-week international scientific expedition to Honduras. Data was collected prior to, during and after the expedition via questionnaires, group interviews and semi-structured individual interviews. The data explored how this significant life experience potentially contributed to the process of transformative learning (TL) and personal transformation in adolescents. In applying the grounded theory methodology, I developed a TL model that outlined how the key components of my theory contributed to personal transformations amongst the participants. My findings suggest five key components – venturing into the unknown, cultural exposure, biological inundation, emotional context and the art of processing – interacted with each other as an entity to facilitate the TL process. Participants expressed their behaviour and personal beliefs had changed in three categories: lifestyle transformations, post-secondary aspirations and transformations of attitudes towards non-human nature.
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