It is becoming increasingly apparent to me that the theory on transformative learning pioneered by Jack Mezirow and followed by a giant heap of other researchers (a dozen books, hundreds of papers and around 150 dissertations have been produced, according to Kitchenham here) is a very interesting path to explore more in-depth when trying to understand what goes on in entrepreneurship education, and especially venture creation programs and other intensive entrepreneurial educational experiences. The links between transformative learning and entrepreneurship education seem to be very scarce. In an upcoming conference on transformative learning in San Fransisco (link), there is only one out of more than 100 speakers that seems to cross-over between these two domains, and that is a Greek researcher named Alexandros Kakouris. I have come across his name before, as he is also into game based learning (see here), yet another domain that has interesting insights potentially on offer for entrepreneurship educators.
One of the (or The) most cited books by Jack Mezirow is “Transformative Dimensions of Adult Learning”, with 3833 citations according to Google Scholar, see here. This book contains a lot of links to emotions, another hot topic for my inquiries (read about my literature review on this topic here). One idea that emerged from reading parts of this book is that the old saying that “Repetion is the key to learning”, might be adjusted to “Repetion and emotion are the keys to learning”. This is a nice quote from Mezirow pointing in this direction (p.36):
“The stronger the affective (emotional) dimension of an interpretation and the more frequently it is made, the easier it is to remember.”.
This means that we should strive not only to make our students repeat things we want them to learn, but also try obtaining high levels of emotionality (both positive and negative) in our courses and programs, in order to increase their retention rate of what we try to teach them, and thus increase the chances of reaching desired learning outcomes of an eduational intervention.
Are there more interesting links between entrepreneurship education and transformative learning out there?