Research Article
Issue Date: January/February 2020
Published Online: November 22, 2019
Updated: April 30, 2020
A Narrative Phenomenological Approach to Transformative Learning: Lessons From Occupational Therapy Reasoning in Educational Practice
Author Affiliations
  • Hiba Zafran, PhD, is Occupational Therapist and Psychotherapist, Assistant Professor, School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, and Curriculum Developer, Indigenous Health Professions Program, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; hiba.zafran@mcgill.ca
Article Information
Ethics / Education of OTs and OTAs / Columns: The Issue Is . . .
Research Article   |   November 22, 2019
A Narrative Phenomenological Approach to Transformative Learning: Lessons From Occupational Therapy Reasoning in Educational Practice
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November 2019, Vol. 74, 7401347010. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2020.033100
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November 2019, Vol. 74, 7401347010. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2020.033100
Abstract

Transformative learning involves the questioning of worldviews and underpins shifts in values and identity that are integral to critical occupational therapy practices. Cognitive theories of transformative learning name, but do not address, the experiential dimensions of transformation. The aim of this article is to conceptualize transformative learning from the perspective of narrative phenomenology in occupational therapy. An argument is presented that draws on research in occupational therapy professional reasoning and that makes visible the dimensions of transformation that are inherently experiential and meaning oriented. Three key concepts for a transformative pedagogy are defined and illustrated: scenes, emplotment, and embodied metaphors. The article concludes with the types of learning objectives for which this approach is suited and the pedagogical values that underpin these teaching practices. This article adds to the domain of health care education by defining and illustrating experiential and meaning-based practices as signature pedagogies for transformative learning.