Learning to Be: Emerging Discourse in Awakening Transformation in Education


  • Vanessa V. Tse University of Victoria
  • David F. Monk University of Victoria




Social justice, critical discourse, transformation


This paper explores the disconnection between knowledge of social and environmental injustices and actions to right them. Through our discussion, we consider possible reasons for this disconnection, whether a lack of knowledge, personal accountability and responsibility, or a fear of being swallowed up in the depths of the suffering in the world. We then critically reflect on our role and the role of education to broach this gap. We adopt O’Sullivan’s (2002) transformative learning theory as a guide and suggest that disruptive dialogues, like the one that has guided this paper, can challenge habits of mind, shift perspectives, and lead to action for a better, more equitable world. Ultimately, we conclude that such conversations are organic and ever changing and are integral to education.

Keywords: Social justice; critical discourse; transformation


Author Biography

David F. Monk, University of Victoria

Faculty of Education

Department of Curriculum and Instruction

PHD candidate