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Type: Thesis
Title: Inner Transformation: Exploring the Interrelationship between Transformative Learning and Religiosity among Change Agent Educators in Indonesia
Author: Wrastari, Aryani Tri
Issue Date: 2018
School/Discipline: School of Education
Abstract: This research highlights the issue of religiosity in transformative learning discourse by exploring how change agent educators in Indonesia interpret their religious experiences as important sources for transformation. Studies within the transformative learning theory suffer from a lack of extended discourse on religiosity. From the four recognised strands, only Dirkx acknowledges the general aspect of spirituality and religion in transformative learning. Theoretical gaps are evident in existing theories. Therefore, the aim of this research is to build a theoretical model that analyses the interrelationship between religious process and the educator’s inner transformation in the education context. Fourteen change agent educators with strong religious backgrounds from five different religions in Indonesia were interviewed. Moreover, a grounded theory methodology was employed and a series of in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted. A constant comparison method, suggested by Strauss and Corbin, was employed as the data analysis technique, consisting of three stages of coding, namely open, axial and selective coding. A theoretical model, the so-called the Relational Transformative model, was developed to explain the role of religion in a person's inner transformation as change agent. This theoretical model was built through explorations of two research questions. The first research question asked: “How does the educator’s religiosity influence their own personal learning process that enables transformation?” This led to the finding of a transformative religious process that informs the transformative role of religion through three interrelated dimensions, namely a structural, transcendental and subjective dimensions. The structural dimension relates to basic aspects of all religion, such as rituals and doctrines, essential to establish a solid foundation for a religious identity. The transcendental dimension captures the encounter with God, that is sacred and numinous, and provides the individual with a potential transformative function that guides the ego structure. The subjective dimension refers to the response of the conscious mind, through the process of the symbolic attitude, in working with religious experiences in two previous dimensions. This research also found religious crisis to be an important factor for transformation. The second research question asked: "How does the educator’s inner transformation, assisted by their religious life, shape their effectiveness as change agent?" The relational transformative being is presented here to explain three qualities of the change agent educator, namely the transpersonal, intrapersonal and interpersonal being. The transpersonal being reflects the preference of internalising transcendent qualities into behaviour. This requires the individual to be faithful and humble, to relegate the highest respect towards the transcendent characters in the belief system, and to set these transcendent characters as the standard for self-improvement. Intrapersonal being refers to an individual who is thoughtful and reflective towards the self. This includes the characteristic of engaging in a dialogical self, self-mindfulness, and having a vocational and impactful life. Interpersonal being refers to the valuation of relationship with other people. Participants in this study strongly believed that the relationship with others is as important as their relationship with God and with themselves, which points to two qualities: the nurturing soul, and the harmonious seeking character.
Advisor: Matthews, Robert
Sabir, Fizza
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Education, 2018
Keywords: Transformative religious process
relational transformative model
symbolic attitude
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