Pellucid Winds by Etan Pavavalung


The International Transformative Learning Association grants two awards at our bi-annual conference:

Jack Mezirow Living Theory of Transformative Learning Award

The Jack Mezirow Living Theory of Transformative Learning Award is inspired by Jack Mezirow’s efforts to engage the field of adult education in thinking theoretically about adult learning. To promote reflection about what he called “a theory in progress,” Mezirow founded the International Transformative Learning Conference in 1998. In prior decades he had developed his own vision about the transformative dimensions of adult learning, generating lively discourse in the field of adult education as scholars and practitioners expanded, applied, and critiqued his ideas.

Mezirow (2012) defined transformative learning as “the process of using a prior interpretation to construe a new or revised interpretation of the meaning of one’s experience as a guide to future action” (p. 74). Transformed frames of reference are “more inclusive, discriminating, open, emotionally capable of change, and reflective” (p. 76). The recipient of the Jack Mezirow Award contributes to living theory by addressing frames of reference about transformative learning, providing scholars and practitioners with a more inclusive, discriminating, open, reflective theoretical and practical perspective that is dynamic in its possibilities for growth and change.

The Jack Mezirow Living Theory of Transformative Learning Award is given at the International Transformative Learning Conference, held every two years. The award was established in 2014 and was awarded for the first time at the conference that year.

Patricia Cranton Distinguished Dissertation Award

The ITLA also recognizes emerging scholars by conferring the Patricia Cranton Distinguished Dissertation Award. This award commends a distinguished doctoral dissertation that exemplifies scholarly work and contributes to the transdisciplinary field of transformative learning.

The Award has three aims:

  • To recognize and honor emerging scholars who extend and inform a living theory of transformative learning.
  • To acknowledge originality and quality of inquiry.
  • To invite and expose contributions from diverse perspectives of transformative learning theory and/or praxis.

The Patricia Cranton Distinguished Dissertation Award was established in 2018 and first conferred at the XIII International Transformative Learning Conference.

Doctoral graduates who completed their dissertations between Spring 2018 and Fall 2021 academic years are invited to submit an application for consideration for the Patricia Cranton Distinguished Dissertation Award at the 14th Biennial International Transformative Learning Conference in April 2022. Submissions are due by January 15, 2022. Guidelines and instructions for how to submit an application are available on the ITLC 2022 Conference website.

Award Recipients

Jack Mezirow Living Theory of Transformative Learning Award


Randee Lipson Lawrence
Brian Dashew
Karen Doyle Grossman

Teachers College, Columbia University

Title: Restoring the Possibility Critical Reflection Discourse: Using Imagined Dialogues to Rebuild Connections Across Political Divides

Alyssa E. Motter
Cheryl K. Baldwin

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Title: A Model of Dialogic Embodiment: Transformative Autoethnographic Dance


Michel Alhadeff-Jones

Teachers College, Columbia University

Sunkhronos Institute, Switzerland

Title: Between Continuity and Discontinuity: Conceiving the Rhythms of Transformative Learning 


Dr. Ted Fleming

National University of Ireland, Maynooth

Title: Axel Honneth and the Struggle for Recognition: Implications for Transformative Learning

Patricia Cranton Distinguished Dissertation Award


Mark D. Hathaway, Ph.D.

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education University of Toronto

Title: Cultivating Ecological Wisdom: Worldviews, Transformative Learning, and Engagement for Sustainability