We highly recommend Transforming Students. The importance of creating transformational learning experiences in today's university setting that connect with messy real world problems and hopeful opportunities is paramount to achieve the promises of a higher education.
This book is particularly relevant as the idea of a university and the fundamental purpose of higher education continue to be challenged and redefined... While Johansson and Felten acknowledge that this work emphasizes the enrichment and engagement that residential colleges can provide, their focus on the traditional college experience is not a limitation of the book. If anything, the testaments of transformation in individuals' stories at Elon and other examples of successful collegiate interventions across the nation offer support for the power of engagement that the traditional university can still deliver, especially in a rapidly emerging era of for-profit institutions and online learning.
This concise text encourages educators, provides simple entry points into pedagogical theories, distills current student development research into poignant sound bites, and offers conceptual measures for engaging the transformative learning process with one's own students, both inside and outside the classroom.
Johansson and Felten have done something all too rare in the present era. They carefully listened to scores of students, teachers, and parents and faithfully reported what makes for a meaningful, developmentally powerful undergraduate experience. Institutional leaders, faculty, and staff would do well to heed the uncommon wisdom in these pages to intentionally create the conditions that result in the high levels of student accomplishment we all desire.
Clear, well-grounded, inspiring and practical, this book will bestir your imagination, remind you why you became a professor (or administrator, trustee, donor), and deepen your sense of what is at stake in whether and how we understand the purposes, process, and transformative potential of the college years.
While acknowledging the highly personal and individualized nature of transformation, Johansson and Felten provide guidelines for practices colleges and universities can adopt to foster transformational learning for all students. Transforming Students is a 'must read' for educators who take seriously higher education's responsibility to help students build an identity rooted in their own sense of purpose and meaning in the world.
Transforming Students comes to us at a moment when many of us are envisioning transformative experiences for our students. The book goes to the heart of our enterprise and captures stories that encourage us to listen with an open mind and heart. This volume provides a valuable source of insight and a valuable source of hope for transformative work of our universities at a time when we need it most. This book is heartfelt and moving.
If only my Dean and senior tenured colleagues, who would ultimately vote on my own tenure and professorship, could have given me Charity Johansson's and Peter Felten's edifying and illuminating work much much earlier in my career! I could and would have understood much earlier and more clearly why colleges should more intentionally pursue the goal of student transformation over and above the obsessive goal of preparation for employment; what are the specific stages, steps and influencing factors that enable student transformation; and what are the institutional practices and policies that facilitate intentional student transformation. This seminal new work shows the way. In our current period of unprecedented questioning of the value of higher education, this work makes a case for the transformative value of what our colleges can and must provide, if only we have the will.
Transforming Students is an insightful and inspiring story of possibility.
1. On the Threshold
2. Creating Openness
3. Thinking It Through
4. Moved to Action
5. In the Company of Others
6. From Individuals to Institutions