The Role of the Teaching and Learning Center in Promoting Transformative Learning at a Metropolitan University
Keywords:collaborative leadership, universal design for learning, community engagement, experiential learning, strategic planning, organizational change, change initiative
With many potential community partners and a diverse student population, the metropolitan university has many opportunities to operationalize transformative learning, which involves a dramatic shift in one’s assumptions that has a lasting change on their perspectives. The challenge of identifying transformative learning initiatives and making these initiatives take hold across a campus requires administrative direction and faculty buy-in. A teaching and learning center (TLC) can guide and sustain such transformation by providing the pedagogical expertise to identify and evaluate transformative learning initiatives, offering a collaborative forum for implementing these initiatives, and serving as an embedded structure to protect initiatives over time. The literature on organizational change in higher education and transformative learning has not yet explored the role TLCs can have in these areas. This article offers a narrative of how a TLC promoted transformative learning through two initiatives: creating a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) initiative to had better include diverse learners, and increasing community engagement through collaborative interactions with the university’s new Experiential Learning Center. This manuscript offers guidelines on leading, directly and collaboratively, such initiatives in a sustainable way, to assist other TLCs in meeting similar goals at their own metropolitan institutions.
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