Reclaiming the emancipatory potential of adult education: Honneth’s critical theory and the struggle for recognition
Keywords:Transformative learning, Honneth, recognition, disorienting dilemma
AbstractMezirow’s theory of transformative learning built on the learning experiences of nontraditional adult students returning to education and on the critical theory of Habermas, more recently progressed by Honneth. This paper links transformation theory with the work of Honneth who in recent works advances ideas about identity development and freedom that allow us update gaps in transformation theory – that it has an inadequate understanding of the social dimension of learning. A new understanding of ‘disorienting dilemma’ as a struggle for recognition is suggested. This paper expands our understanding of the emancipatory intent of transformative learning. EU funded empirical research supports this new iteration of the adult learning theory. Implications are drawn for teaching non-traditional students in adult and higher education.
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