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22
Feb
2024

We Must Deliver Transformational Education

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Why a psycho-socio-technical model of transformational learning will better prepare students for a rapidly changing world.

  • Gen Z students are seeking business programs that offer flexible delivery, meaningful social interactions, and humanistic approaches.
  • Jack Mezirow’s theory of transformational learning can serve as a foundation for delivering student-centric curricula that require self-paced learning, incorporate peer evaluation, and encourage self-discovery.
  • To answer the global call for inclusive lifelong learning opportunities, business schools can design programs that transform students’ perspectives and encourage them to serve society.

When I think of our role as educators, I often remember a certain 11th-century Vedic verse. Its rough translation from the original Sanskrit is the following:

This statement from a thousand years ago is doubly true in the 21st century. Students today must be prepared to work during a time of great upheaval. They must navigate labor markets that are being reshaped by the emergence of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and the prevalence of hybrid and remote work. They must be attuned to the changing expectations of stakeholders, who expect organizations to place greater emphasis on employee-centricismorganizational societal impact, and organizational ecological sustainability.

Students also must learn to be entrepreneurial thinkers, as the number of freelance, gig, and contractual workers rises. This trend is being driven by nontraditional companies that are eschewing “person-job fit” and “person-organization fit” in favor of person-skill fit. These companies are adopting an aggregated model in which they hire workers temporarily to complete particular tasks or projects.

Given these market shifts and re-oriented business models, how can business schools add long-term value to students’ lives, create a positive impact on society, and ensure ecological viability of business and the world? How can they maintain the relevance of management education?

Drawing on my experience as a researcher, educational consultant, and peer evaluator for national accreditation, I have concluded that business schools can amplify their value to students by offering transformational learning experiences. With such a model, educators do not just impart knowledge. By integrating psychological, social, and technical components across the curriculum, they also inspire students to become self-motivated learners.

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