Abstract 2- Volume 2, Number 3, Winter 2007

Social Studies Research and Practice

Volume 2, Number 3, Winter 2007


Fostering Preservice Teachers’ Transformative Learning in a Social Studies Methods Course: A Reflection on Transformative Pedagogy

Omiunota Nelly Ukpokodu, Ph.D.
University of Missouri-Kansas City


Using a qualitative research design, this study examined the impact of a course that utilized transformative pedagogy to foster preservice teachers’ transformative learning in a social studies methods course. The study was framed around the construct and practice of transformative education and pedagogy. Transformative pedagogy was defined as an activist pedagogy that combines the elements of constructivist, critical pedagogy, multiculturalism and practices that promote dialogical relations, engage and empower students as critical inquirers, participatory, active, and self-reflective learners who confront their prior beliefs, perspectives, frames of reference and attitudes in order to foster the development of critical consciousness, visions of possibilities, and action. Drawing on multiple sources, the data revealed that participants evidenced transformative learning such as follows: (a) deepened perspectives and new understanding of social studies; (b) shifting dispositions and awareness of a new sense of responsibility; (c) evolving self-examination and redefinition of teaching role, and (d) emerging sense of social critique and conscientization. Finally, the article discusses practices of key elements of transformative pedagogy that foster transformative learning such as a community-based learning context, experiential learning activities and project, reflective journaling, modeling, and scaffolding.

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About the Author(s)…

Dr. Omiunota Nelly Ukpokodu is an associate professor of social studies and multicultural education in the School of Education, Division of Curriculum & Instructional Leadership, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, MO. Contact information: ukpokodun@umkc.edu.