Defying Gravity: An Affective Photovoice Lens on Transformative Sustainability Learning
School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
O'Neil, Joy Kcenia
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The purpose of this study was to understand the learning experiences and the role of affect for students in a transformative sustainability education doctoral program. My research questions reflected the purpose of this study: How do adults experience learning in a transformative sustainability education doctoral program? How does affective learning play a role in adult learner experiences in a transformative sustainability education doctoral program? How do affect and emotions play a role in transformative learning? Through participatory action research utilizing a photovoice method and built upon a transformative sustainability theoretical framework, I explored affect and learning experiences in a cohort doctoral program. The results of this study indicated that students experienced ongoing learning with positive affect when they felt a sense of belonging and connectedness to self, others, and/or nature. When students experienced a lack of belonging/connectedness, they worked to re-establish connections. Network connections, dynamic balance, and feedback loops were key in establishing a sense of belonging to support ongoing and meaningful learning in a transformative sustainability education program.
living systems theory
participatory action research
transformative sustainability learning