University of Central Oklahoma learning center 'transforming' education

The University of Central Oklahoma's Center for Transformative Learning is offering a unique approach to education.
BY JOHN A. WILLIAMS Published: September 25, 2010
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University of Central Oklahoma leaders recognize that college graduates are likely to change their careers several times over their lifetime. In some cases it's the industry that will change significantly after they received their diploma.

With that in mind, UCO opened the Center for Transformative Learning this semester to better prepare future graduates.

"It's possible what they learned in their subject area may become obsolete at some point," said UCO Provost Bill Radke. "But if we give them leadership skills, if we give them critical thinking skills, the opportunity to connect with their local community and the world, we think this will give them the chance to be successful."

Transformative learning is best described as placing students at the center of their active learning process, Radke said.

"We expect the student to take the responsibility for their learning," Radke said. "The idea of transformative learning is to give them the tools and be able to react effectively to a change in their career or when they're career changes around them."

In addition to a chosen field of study, all students at UCO will have transformative learning experiences in five core areas: leadership; research; creative and scholarly activities; service learning and civic engagement; global and cultural competencies; and health and wellness.

An important principle in transformative learning is to decrease the amount of lecture time and increase the time students are actually engaged, Radke said.

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