USING TRANSFORMATIVE LEARNING AS A FRAMEWORK TO EXPLORE WOMEN AND RUNNING

Open Access
Author:
Hayduk, Dina
Graduate Program:
Adult Education
Degree:
Doctor of Education
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
May 09, 2011
Committee Members:
  • Patricia Angelica Cranton, Dissertation Advisor
  • Patricia Angelica Cranton, Committee Chair
  • Elizabeth Jean Tisdell, Committee Member
  • Samuel William Monismith, Committee Member
  • Carol A Smith, Committee Member
  • Gary Kuhne, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • transformative learning
  • women
  • running
  • narrative inquiry
Abstract:
This qualitative narrative inquiry explored women‟s self-perceptions changed through regular participation in running. Transformative learning theory was considered as a possible explanation for the learning and changes adult women experienced. In-depth interviews of 11 adult women who have been running between 1 to 4 years were conducted. Based on the interviews, a unique narrative was created for each participant. Using the lens of transformative learning, transcripts of the interviews were analyzed individually to see if the subject had a deep paradigm shift in self-perception based on the description of their running experience. The research focused on the participants‟ self-reports of how they have changed, specifically their self-perception since beginning running, and the role running played in this change. Each narrative supplies rich descriptive data. Findings indicated that all of the subjects did have a change in self-perspective that they contributed to running. Self-reflection was key to the process of change for most of the subjects while a few used the process of discernment. Additionally, some of the women reported the influence of being part of a supportive group, while only one woman engaged in rational dialogue. The rational aspect, although central, was only one part of the process. Implications for health educators include infusing opportunities for self reflection in behavior change models to perhaps increase success rates. The study contributes to the field of adult education by demonstrating the importance of the individual‟s experiences to the process of transformative learning.