Applying Mezirow's Transformative Learning Theory into nursing and health professional education programs: A scoping review

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Teaching and Learning in Nursing


Introduction: Transformative learning exposes students to situations where they can transform their perspective, question beliefs, and become effective learners. Methods: A scoping review was conducted guided by an established methodology. A search of six electronic databases was undertaken up to October 2021: 1) Academic Search Complete; 2) CINAHL; 3) Education Research Complete; 4) ERIC; 5) ProQuest Central; and 6) SCOPUS. Forward and backward searches of included studies were also performed. Results: Five studies used Mezirow's theory to underpin educational program development or implementation, and seven used this theory to evaluate learning transformation following program completion. Although a range of learning and teaching strategies were used, group learning to promote student collaboration was used in seven studies. Nine studies reported learning transformation, however, the assessment of this outcome varied. Discussion: The findings of this review highlight variability in the use of this theory across educational programs, underscoring the need to embed Mezirow's Transformative Learning Theory across all phases of educational program development, implementation, and evaluation. This review has also highlighted the need for the development of a tool to measure transformation due to variability in the way it was reported in the literature.

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