Critical Reflection in Adult Education & Learning: issues of meaning-making and transformation of human experience

Course Information
TitleΟ ΡΟΛΟΣ ΤΟΥ ΚΡΙΤΙΚΟΥ ΣΤΟΧΑΣΜΟΥ ΣΤΗ ΜΑΘΗΣΗ ΚΑΙ ΕΚΠΑΙΔΕΥΣΗ ΕΝΗΛΙΚΩΝ / Critical Reflection in Adult Education & Learning: issues of meaning-making and transformation of human experience
SchoolPhilosophy and Education
Cycle / Level1st / Undergraduate, 2nd / Postgraduate
Teaching PeriodWinter/Spring
CoordinatorGeorgios Zarifis
Course ID280009247

Programme of Study: UPS School of Philosophy and Education (2011-today)

Registered students: 1
OrientationAttendance TypeSemesterYearECTS
CoreCompulsory courses beloging to the selected specialisationWinter/Spring-6
PedagogicCompulsory courses beloging to the selected specialisationWinter/Spring-6

Class Information
Academic Year2016 – 2017
Class PeriodSpring
Weekly Hours3
Class ID
Course Type 2016-2020
  • Scientific Area
  • Skills Development
Course Type 2011-2015
Specific Foundation / Core
Mode of Delivery
  • Face to face
The course is also offered to exchange programme students.
Language of Instruction
  • Greek (Instruction, Examination)
  • English (Instruction, Examination)
Required Courses
  • ΕΙΣΠ100 Introduction to Pedagogy
  • Π1807 Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning: theory & practice
  • ΣΧΠΙ400 Education and Schooling
  • ΣΧΠΙΙ400 School Education II (curriculum and other pedagogical texts, resources and practices)
General Prerequisites
The course is offered only to students of the Department of Education and incoming Erasmus students from Universitites and/or Faculties/Departments with pedagogical/educational orientation. A written assignment (up to 3000 words) is a requirement to pass the course.
Learning Outcomes
The students who will successfully complete this course, are expected that they will be able to: •Familiarize with the basic concepts of reference (critical reflection, transformation, empowerment). •Understand the difference between these concepts. •Deconstruct the concept of "critical thinking" in adult education. •Identifiy the factors that affect the valuation and sense of the human experience. •Evaluate critical ways for classifying different theoretical approaches relating to critical reflection, transformation and empowerment. •Leverage the terminology and literature for writing small study for the course. •Develop a positive attitude towards aid processes of critical reflection in educational environments. •Develop personal exemplary reports in relation to the way of meaning of experience.
General Competences
  • Apply knowledge in practice
  • Retrieve, analyse and synthesise data and information, with the use of necessary technologies
  • Adapt to new situations
  • Make decisions
  • Work autonomously
  • Work in teams
  • Generate new research ideas
  • Appreciate diversity and multiculturality
  • Demonstrate social, professional and ethical commitment and sensitivity to gender issues
  • Be critical and self-critical
  • Advance free, creative and causative thinking
Course Content (Syllabus)
The course explores the role of critical reflection on adult learning and education, as well as the conditions under which it is formulated and its relation to the transformation of the perspective (perspective transformation), empowerment and change. In the course, the concept of critical thinking is aproachd as an ex post facto treaty formulating a theory of learning and adult education, based on different theoretical approaches such as: Dewey, Freire, Kolb & Fry, Mezirow, Brookfield, Boyd, Dirkx, Merriam & Heuer, Cranton and many others, is analysed and discussed. Then critical thinking is connected to the concept of ‘meaning making’, as a process leading to a new revised interpretation of experience and aims to explore personalized system of meanings (expert systems) and thus adult’s growth. Also the correlation between the concept of critical reflection and the concepts of 'critical consciousness' (conscientização) and 'transformative learning', as processes which foreshadow the empowerment of the individual through a review of his experience and aimed at empowering, is discussed in the course. In addition to the theoretical approach to the concept of critical reflection taken, the module focuses on the enhancement of critical thinking in practical terms. It is designed to create a framework for action (empowerment) for adult education, which aims at change and critical consciousness.
Adult education and learning, critical thinking, critical reflection, emancipation, transformation, meaning-making
Educational Material Types
  • Notes
  • Slide presentations
  • Multimedia
  • Book
Use of Information and Communication Technologies
Use of ICT
  • Use of ICT in Course Teaching
  • Use of ICT in Communication with Students
Use of the tutor's own platform available at
Course Organization
Reading Assigment150.6
Written assigments502
Student Assessment
Written assignment of 3000 words for incoming Erasmus students.
Student Assessment methods
  • Written Exam with Multiple Choice Questions (Summative)
  • Written Exam with Short Answer Questions (Formative)
  • Written Assignment (Summative)
  • Performance / Staging (Formative)
  • Written Exam with Problem Solving (Formative)
Course Bibliography (Eudoxus)
Στο συγκεκριμένο μάθημα διανέμεται σχετικό σύγγραμμα με τίτλο "Ο Κριτικός Στοχασμός στη Μάθηση και Εκπαίδευση Ενηλίκων: Θεωρητικές Προσεγγίσεις και Πρακτικές Προεκτάσεις" (Αθήνα, Εκδόσεις Παπαζήση. ISBN: 978-960-02-2349-1). Ο στόχος του συγκεκριμένου βιβλίου –το οποίο αποτελεί μια συλλογική προσπάθεια, και είναι το προϊόν ενός ετήσιου σχεδίου ομαδικής εργασίας (project) με μεταπτυχιακούς φοιτητές και μεταπτυχιακές φοιτήτριες από το Α.Π.Θ και το Πανεπιστήμιο Μακεδονίας– είναι η οριοθέτηση της συζήτησης σχετικά με το ρόλο του κριτικού στοχασμού στη μάθηση και την εκπαίδευση των ενηλίκων, καθώς και του πλαισίου μέσα στο οποίο οργανώνεται η σχετική θεωρία που αφορά κυρίως στον τρόπο με τον οποίο ο κριτικός στοχασμός συνδέεται με την απόδοση νοήματος στην ανθρώπινη εμπειρία (νοηματοδότηση) και τη δημιουργία νέας γνώσης (μετασχηματισμός της εμπειρίας), με στόχο την ενδυνάμωση για την ανάληψη δράσης (αρχικά επικοινωνιακής αλλά στη συνέχεια και χειραφετητικής) που θα επιφέρει την ανάπτυξη και την αλλαγή τόσο σε ατομικό όσο και σε κοινωνικό επίπεδο. Το βιβλίο αποτελείται από δύο μέρη. Το πρώτο μέρος επικεντρώνεται στην παρουσίαση και ανάλυση των σημαντικότερων θεωρητικών προσεγγίσεων στην ερμηνεία του κριτικού στοχασμού, ως ex-post facto (δια)νοητική διαδικασία, δίνοντας ιδιαίτερη έμφαση στη έννοια της νοηματοδότησης (αποκωδικοποίησης κατά τον Freire), ως έννοια «κλειδί» για την οριοθέτηση αυτής της διαδικασίας. Το δεύτερο μέρος επικεντρώνεται στις πρακτικές προεκτάσεις αυτής της (δια)νοητικής διαδικασίας, δίνοντας έμφαση στη άλλη έννοια «κλειδί», αυτή της ενδυνάμωσης, και στη σημασία ανάπτυξης μίας εκπαίδευσης ενηλίκων η οποία θα στοχεύει στη χειραφέτηση. Ηλεκτρονικές σημειώσεις οι οποίες μπορούν να μεταφορτωθούν από τον ιστοχώρο (πρόσβαση ύστερα από εγγραφή στον ιστοχώρο και μόνο με κωδικό).
Additional bibliography for study
1.Brookfield, S. (1987) Developing critical thinkers: challenging adult to explore alternate ways of thinking and acting, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 2.Brookfield, S. (1993) «Breaking the code : Engaging practitioners in critical analysis of adult education literature» Studies in the Education of Adults, V25, n1, : 64-91. 3.Brookfield, S. (1995). Becoming a critically reflective teacher. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 4.Brookfield, S. (2001) «Repositioning ideology critique in a critical theory of adult learning», Adult Education Quarterly, V52, n1: 7-22. 5.Brookfield, S. (2002α) Overcoming alienation as the practice of adult education: The contribution of Erich Fromm to a critical theory of adult learning and education, Adult Education Quarterly, V52, n2, 96-111. 6.Brookfield, S. (2002 β) Reassessing subjectivity, criticality and inclusivity: Marcuse’s challenge to adult education, Adult Education Quarterly, V52, n4,: 265-180. 7.Brooks, A. K. (1999) Critical reflection as a response to organizational disruption, Advances in Developing Human Resources, n3, :67-97. 8.Carr, W. Kemmis, S. (1986) Becoming critical: Education, knowledge and action research, London: Falmer Press. 9.Courtenay B. C., Merriam S. B. and Reeves P. M. (1996) The centrality of meaning-making in transformational learning: How HIV-positive adults make sense of their lives, Adult education quarterly, 48(2), 65-84. 10.Cranton, P. (1994) Understanding and promoting transformative learning: A guide for educators of adults, San Francisco: Jossey Bass. 11.Dewey, J. (1933) How we think: A restatement of the relation of reflective thinking to the educative process. Boston: Heath & Co. 12.Elder, L. Paul, R. (1994) Critical Thinking: Why we must transform our teaching, Journal of Developmental Education, 18:1.: 34-35. 13.Ennis R. (1989), Critical Thinking and Subject Specificity, Educational Researcher, 18(3), 4-10. 14.Ennis, R. H. (1993) Critical thinking assessment, Theory into Practice, V32, : 179–186. 15.Freire, P. (1970) Pedagogy of the oppressed, New York: Herter and Herter. 16.Garrison, D. R. (1991) Critical thinking and adult education: a conceptual model for developing critical thinking in adult learners, International Journal of Lifelong Learning, V10 n4,: 287-303. 17.Greene, M. (1986) In search of a critical pedagogy, Harvard, Educational Review, V56, n4,: 427-441. 18.Gur-Ze’ev, I. (2002) Bildung and Critical Theory in the Face of Postmodern Education, Journal of Philosophy of Education, V36, n3, : 391-408. 19.Kennedy, M. Fisher, M. B. Ennis, R. H. (1991) «Critical thinking: literature review and needed research, L. Idol, B. F. Jones, (Eds.) Educational Values and Cognitive Instruction: Implications for Reform, Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. 20.Knox, A. ( 1991) Transformative Dimensions of Adult Learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 21.Kolb, D. A. (1984) Experiential Learning: Experience as the source learning and development, Englewood Cliffs, Prentice Hall. 22.Kolb, D. A. (1993) The process of Experiential Learning, στο Thorpe, M., Edwards, R., Hanson, A. (eds.) Culture and Processes of Adult Learning, Milton Keynes, Open University Press. 23.Kolb, D. A. (1993) The process of Experiential Learning, στο Thorpe, M., Edwards, R., Hanson, A. (eds.) (1993) Culture and Processes of Adult Learning, Milton Keynes, Open University Press, σελ :138-156. 24.Kolb, D. A. Fry, R. (1975) «Toward an applied theory of experiential learning» στο C. Cooper (Ed) Theories of Group Process, London: John Wiley. 25.Mezirow , J . (1978) Perspective Transformation, Adult Education, V28, : 100-110. 26.Mezirow, J (ed.) (1990). Fostering critical reflection in adulthood: A guide to transformative and emancipatory learning. San Francisco: Jossey Bass 27.Mezirow, J. & associates (2000) Learning as transformation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 28.Mezirow, J. (1981) A critical theory of adult learning and education, Adult Education, V32, n1, : 3-24. 29.Mezirow, J. (1990) How critical reflection triggers transformative learning, στοJ. Mezirow and associates (Eds) Fostering critical reflection in adulthood: A guide to transformative and emancipatory learning, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. σελ: 1-20. 30.Mezirow, J. (1991) Transformative dimensions of adult learning, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 31.Mezirow, J. (2000) «Learning to think like an adult: Core concepts in transformation theory» στοJ.Mezirow and associates (Eds) Learning as Transformation, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 32.Mezirow, J. (2003) Transformative Learning as Discourse, Journal of Transformative Education, V1, n1,: 58-63. 33.Parker, S. (1997) Reflective teaching in a postmodern world: A manifesto for education in postmodernity, Buckingham: Open University Press. 34.Preston, r. (1999). Critical approaches to lifelong education, International review of education, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, Vol. 45, No 5/ 6, 561-574 35.Schön, D. A. (1983) The reflective practitioner, New York: Basic Books. 36.Schön, D. A. (1983). The reflective practitioner: how professionals thinking action, New York: Basic Books. 37.Schön, D.A (1987). Educating the reflective practitioner, San Fransisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers 38.Taylor, E. W. (2001) Transformative learning theory: A neurobiological perspective of the role of emotions and unconscious ways of knowing, International Journal of Lifelong Education, V20, n3,: 218-236.
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