Transformative Teaching in Early Ed.

What is education for if it doesn’t change the life of a student? Too often, education falls short of changing lives, but it surely has the potential to do so.  Transformational Teaching is a type of intentional teaching that changes lives, and it’s a concept that isn’t widely talked about.  Every time a teacher steps into a classroom they have the potential to change the life a child, but they must be prepared to do so. This post is focused on conveying what transformational teaching is, and how it can be implemented in a classroom. 

What exactly is transformational teaching? (Source: Reinert Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning)

·    Simply put, transformational teaching is teaching that results in a change or transformation in a student.

·    The change the student experiences the way they experience themselves, others, and how they engage with their broader social sphere.

What are the principles of transformational teaching? (Source: Reinert Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning and “Transformational Teaching: Theoretical Underpinnings, Basic Principles, and Core Methods” by Zimbardo and Slavich.

1.Establishing a shared vision for a classroom

2.Providing modeling and experiences where students can seek to master something

3.Intellectually challenging and encouraging students

4.Personalizing attention and feedback

5.Creating Experiential lessons

6.Promoting reflection before and after learning experiences


After reviewing the research of Zimbardo and Slavich, I’ve come to wonder whether being a transformational teacher is just as much about a mindset as it much a process.  I think that often teachers aren’t fully conscious of the fact that could change the life of a student at any moment. Obviously, the process of enacting the principles of transformational teaching is important, but isn’t it also a mindset?  It seems to me that increased mindfulness for teachers to the fact that they can be transformative, will like their teaching style more likely to be transformative.


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