Transformative learning theory is a dominant approach to understanding adult learning. The theory addresses the way our perspectives on the world, others and ourselves can be challenged and transformed in our ongoing efforts to make sense of the world. It is a conception of learning that does not focus on the measurable acquisition of knowledge and skills, but looks rather to the dynamics of self-questioning and upheaval as the key to adult learning. In this article, transformative learning theory is used as a lens for studying learning in a competency-based, entry-level management course. Instead of asking which knowledge and skills were developed and how effectively, the research enquired into deeper changes wrought by the learning experiences. The research found that for some learners the course contributed to significant discontent as they discovered that management practices they took to represent the norm fell dramatically short of the model promoted in the training.
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