Dr. Patricia Cranton has been a leading adult educator whose publications surrounding adult learning have influenced generations of scholars not only in North America but also internationally. She is an authority about higher education, faculty development, vocational education, professional education, instructional design, research methodologies, and instructional technology.
Cranton has worked at numerous universities in the United States and internationally. She co-founded and became vice president of Psychological Type Press, Inc., and also served as director of the Institute for Personal and Professional Empowerment, both focusing on serving the local community. Due to her outstanding contributions, she was invited to be a visiting professor at the University of South Australia and Pennsylvania State University. While a visiting scholar in Japan, she was a keynote speaker for the Japan Society for Women’s Adult and Social Education and also the National Women’s Education Center.
Cranton has a long list of publications in the field, which are among her most noteworthy achievements. Her numerous chapters and essays serve to guide both experienced and novice scholars and practitioners in the field. Her articles are often featured in the Journal of Transformative Education and she is on the editorial board of five international journals and six North American journals. Her work has been translated into Japanese and Chinese, and she has been called on to visit those countries to meet with graduate students and scholars. For five years she was co-editor of the Adult Education Quarterly, the primary journal for research and theory in adult education. Her Understanding and Promoting Transformative Learning has equipped numerous scholars and practitioners with newer theories to further understand and advance the field of adult and continuing education. Most recently, she was co-editor of The Handbook of Transformative Learning (2012), a 600-page volume that includes current approaches to research, theory, and practice in transformative learning. She still serves as journal editor or reviewer to help other scholars in the field.
Cranton has done extensive scholarly work to enhance the visibility and stature of the field. She has been invited to serve as external examiner for dissertation students by dozens of universities in the United States, Canada, and Australia. She has been working toward a unified theory of transformative learning, bringing together the various fragments of the theory that have been created in the literature over the last 20 years.
Although Cranton has retired after decades of contributions to the field through her scholarly work and teaching, she remains active in her research and scholarly writing. She published more than 14 publications in scholarly journals in 2012. Her theories are still studied by other scholars and graduate students in the field and she is mentoring numerous new scholars in the United States and Canada. Her scholarly work, connecting adult learning with other fields, has gone well beyond adult and continuing education.
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