Hall of Fame Class of 2003
Jack Mezirow is recognized for initiating a transformative learning movement in the field of adult education. He is currently an Emeritus Professor of Adult and Continuing Education at Teachers College, Columbia University where he also served as the chairman of the Department of Higher and Adult Education and director for Adult Education. Prior to his service at Teachers College, Professor Mezirow was Associate Dean for Statewide Programs at the University of California Extension and Director of the Division of Human Resource Development for the Latin American Bureau, Agency for International Development.
At Columbia University he established and directed a pioneering doctoral program in transformative learning, Adult Education Guided Independent Study (AEGIS). Currently, he is engaged in research in the field of adult learning and higher education and consultation and writing. He has worked over the past two decades on an evolving transformation theory that attempts to delineate generic dimensions and processes of learning and its implications for educators of adults. Articles, critiques and dialogues continue to appear in the Adult Education Quarterly and elsewhere.
His most recent books include Transformative Dimensions of Adult Learning (1991) and Fostering Critical Reflection in Adulthood (with Associates, 1990). Both were published by Jossey-Bass and have been translated into other languages. Fostering Critical Reflection received the Frandson Award for Outstanding Publication in Continuing Education and Last Gamble on Education (with Darkenwald and Knox, Adult Education Association, 1975) won the Okes Award for Outstanding Research in Adult Education. He is the author of other books, chapters, research reports and numerous articles, and is currently working on a new book on transformative learning.
Professor Mezirow has been a consultant in adult literacy and community development for UNDP, UNESCO, U.S. AID, USIA, Asia Foundation and World Education in many countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Recent assignments have been as advisor on adult literacy to the Government of Pakistan and as leader of an international team of World Education consultants studying distance learning in Thailand for the Government of Thailand and the Asia Development Bank.
Since his retirement, Professor Mezirow has made presentations and led seminars on transformative learning at universities in the U.S., Spain, Finland, Canada, Thailand, Puerto Rico, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. He was Chairman of the First National Conference on Transformative Learning, held at Columbia University in 1998.