Transformative learning to solve the impossible: Edge-emotions and intuition in expanding the limitations of our rational abilities

Kaisu Mälkki, Asta Raami

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Transformative learning may be seen to equip learners with mindsets or meaning perspectives that support solving problems that are complex or even deemed impossible – those that are challenges in today’s society. However, a key theory of adult learning, Jack Mezirow’s theory of transformative learning, emphasizes rationality, which limits its sphere of application. In this chapter, we aim to update the theory of transformative learning for the 21st century. To do so, we address the role of intentional intuition when acquiring information and use it to critically assess the theory’s basic premises regarding rationality. Furthermore, using the theory of edge-emotions, which has emerged from the transformative learning theory tradition, we suggest a way to integrate these two realms. The notion of edge-emotions brings to light the limitations of both the rational and the intuitive realms and offers conceptual tools to work with these limitations, fostering a more open, discerning, and critically reflective perspective on transformative learning in both theory and practice. This more comprehensive understanding of transformative learning, we argue, offers conceptual tools to support experts and work communities in developing the mindsets and cognitive skills needed to work with increasingly complex, ever-changing environments, while remaining critical to self-evident assumptions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Transformative Learning Theory and Praxis
Subtitle of host publicationNew Perspectives and Possibilities
EditorsEffrosyni Kostara, Andreas Gavrielatos, Daphne Loads
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780429450600
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2022
Publication typeA3 Book chapter

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 3


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