Marsick, V.J. Transformative Learning from Experience in the Knowledge Era,

Daedalus, 1998, 122(4), 119-136.

"The future now belongs to societies that organize themselves for learning."

—Ray Marshall and Marc Tucker Thinking for a Living1

ADULTS ARE FACING UNPRECEDENTED CHALLENGES in almost every sphere of life, and the consequences for learning are real and dramatic. They are stretched to learn continuously, and transformatively, in a world that demands higher-order thinking. In an earlier, more predictable era, people could more easily build on existing frames of reference, supported by their education, to understand and respond to changes. Today, adults need to transform deeply held frames of reference to make sense of their experience in ways better suited to increasingly complex demands.

Students, too, need to experience transformative learning to prepare for their future as adults. Thus, schools need to change fundamentally to provide this experience. Teachers play a pivotal role in these changes, and, as such, face a dual challenge as adult learners. They need to prepare students differently for new demands. And to do so, they must often transform their own ways of being and working, often within institutions they are helping to reinvent.

School-reform advocates argue that teachers can best meet these demands by learning together from their experiences as they face new challenges. But it cannot be assumed that teachers can do so without additional support. Their professional development must also be radically revised. Drawing on experience with organizations, I describe an emerging strategy— Action Learning—that offers insight into how this might be done.



Today’s demands on adults require a new model, that of lifelong learning. It is a model foreseen for the last quarter of a century by various policymakers and educators. But systems for lifelong learning are not new. According to Phil Candy, nineteenth-century England was a "fascinating social laboratory" of adult learning. "Newspapers began to proliferate; public libraries sprang up in towns and villages throughout the country; labor unions coalesced out of friendly societies; adult Sunday schools were established, especially by many nonconformist denominations; mechanics institutes and scientific and literary societies flourished; and universities made their first tentative forays into extramural and extension work."2 A similar phenomenon took place in the United States, motivated by values that emphasized democracy and social progress. Learning opportunities abounded, although they were not typically labeled as education. Self-improvement was a dominant theme. In England, Samuel Smiles published a noteworthy book on Self Help; in the United States of that era, "self culture was the preferred term."3

At the end of the twentieth century many avenues are open to the adult who wants to pursue learning for credit or non- credit purposes. Adult education in business and industry has grown so large that a system of corporate colleges has emerged through which people are able to get the equivalent of industry-specific college degrees.4 Unions have developed a parallel system to ensure that rank-and-file workers receive funds and opportunities for education.5 Community colleges have proliferated. Institutions for postsecondary education of all kinds often have more adult learners on campus than young precareer students. Specialized adult-learning fields have grown up around many needs: family life, health, English as a second language, religion, prisons and rehabilitation efforts, museums, senior citizen and retirement needs, hobbies and recreational activities.6

Contemporary adult education in the United States grew Out of early roots in community development, agricultural extension, libraries, and night schools. Because of the nature of America’s "melting pot" of immigrants, adult education often focused on remedial and "second chance" courses: basic education, literacy education, the General Equivalency Diploma (G.E.D.), and citizenship education for immigrants. Today, by contrast, the decline of industrialized production and the increasing demands for professional services of high quality have resulted in significantly increased demands for intensive lifelong learning. While adult education and services have expanded, questions are being raised about the adequacy of the learning models on which they are based.


Technological change and globalization are the twin interactive forces that have fueled our jump into the "knowledge era," a mental landscape charted very early by authors like Peter Drucker and Alvin Toffler.7 Within the short space of some twenty-five years, intelligent technology has revolutionized life and catalyzed dramatic changes in the way in which many individuals access and generate knowledge.

A look at new demands at work illustrates the world that young people are entering. One report forecasts that more than half the jobs created between 1984 and 2005 will require education beyond high school. Another suggests that from 1970 through 1990 alone, "the number of jobs requiring cognitive skills increased 11 percent; those requiring interpersonal skills increased 19 percent. The jobs requiring motor skills decreased 4.5 percent.8 " New jobs require greater ability to read technical information and to write reports. But according to a National Adult Literacy Survey, 90 million adults in the United States are unable to read and write to an adequate standard. "Such adults would have trouble adding up checks on a bank deposit slip, making inferences from printed material, and writing compound sentences. Yet more than one-third of the 90 million were employed full-time."9 Others report the strong relationship between education levels and wages; young people with less education are less likely to find work and are likely to earn less. In 1993, male college graduates might expect to earn 89 percent more than their counterparts with a high-school diploma, up from a 49 percent differential in 1979.10

The way people work has been radically transformed by technological advances. The need for computer literacy in managers and professionals rose 35 percent between 1990 and 1993, and it was a requirement in over 70 percent of all management positions.11 Furthermore, computers have fundamentally altered the kind of thinking demanded of many. In interviews with workers and managers over several years in high-tech paper-making plants, bank and insurance offices, a telecommunications company, and a pharmaceutical company, Shoshana Zuboff identified the alternatives created by the widening use of technology. In contrast to "automating," which often results in the de-skilling and elimination of jobs, computers can be used to "informate," a word Zuboff coined to speak to the ability of technology to make underlying processes as visible as the data themselves. Informating demands higher levels of procedural reasoning, logic, and abstract thinking. Zuboff illustrates this with a quotation from one of the employees experiencing the transition: "Before computers, we didn’t have to think as much, just react. . . . Now, the most important thing to learn is to think before you do something. . . . You have to know which variables are the most critical and therefore what to be most cautious about, what to spend time thinking about before you take action."12

The nature of the psychological job contract has changed in significant ways. Few people work for many years in the same organization; many are part-time, temporary, or contract workers. Jobs in the industrialized world require the development and application of knowledge work. A small number of very highly paid workers are avidly sought; routine and unskilled work is shifting to parts of the world where wages are lower.

Life in many institutions is very different from what it was when work tended to be more routine and predictable. In the past, people higher up in the hierarchy took greater responsibility for understanding and laying out the work that others below carried out without much questioning. Most people were not expected to think in very complex ways; they were expected to follow orders and rules. Tasks were clearly defined and often carried out without much interaction across boundaries. Today, work is performed through virtual connections around the globe and around the clock. Hierarchies have been flattened, placing greater responsibility in the hands of employees closest to the task. Frontline workers often participate more fully in decision making and problem solving. The nature of work often requires employees to work in teams; in the past, industrial culture rewarded individual effort. Today, teams require new capabilities in collaboration and conflict resolution.

The need to think in more complex ways extends far beyond the workplace; there is the need to make choices about a child’s education, to take on greater levels of responsibility for under standing one’s own health needs in the face of the HMO’s emphasis on the bottom line, to analyze political choices, to deal with fundamental differences in a highly diverse society, and to sift through competing choices as a consumer. Many decisions, if not made well, can have serious impact on one’s life. Choices related to health care, schooling, or career preferences may demand considerable independent research and multiple consultations with specialists or experts.


Graduates of school systems may he able to pass examinations, but it is not at all obvious that they have strong skills in "learning to learn" in the new knowledge era. Test taking may emphasize the recitation of facts more than the ability to think. Yet it is just this need to think and learn that many institutions now demand of their adult workers.

Learning in the past was suited to a more predictable era, which involved memorization and the practice of what experts had discovered. By contrast, intelligence and invention—once a prerequisite only for highly educated professionals—are today often demanded from all employees in many workplaces. Even the simplest job may require fairly complex judgments. Work is mediated by abstract data that has to be visualized in concrete operations, manipulated by the use of logic and mathematics. Few supervisors are available to provide detailed direction, to recognize the linkages between one task and the entire system. Employees are expected to see how their job contributes to attracting and keeping customers, saving lives, or creating a better product. A person on the shop floor often interprets highly technical instructions, uses college-level mathematics, fixes computer glitches, and participates in self-directed work teams. An accountant, clerical worker, engineer, or computer technician needs to see the impact his decisions will have on the work flow and the end result. Customer-service representatives need to identify and report on shifting market demands. Employees and managers need to know more about industry trends in order to shape their choices to make them align with the company’s strategic vision.

Adults frequently seek formal education to reshape their careers, to meet new demands arising from health care or parenting. Learning is self-directed. Adults cannot look passively to others to take the lead for their learning; they are obliged to learn from their own experience. And learning is today available through an increasingly broad array of choices, many of which come via cyberspace.

But more information may be confusing if individuals are unable to make sense of, and master, this information. Emphasis in the past was on "paradigmatic" knowledge that might be characterized as "analytic, general, abstract, impersonal, and decontextualized." Scholars today affirm that much knowing depends on situated cognition and is more often understood as "narrative," that is, "specific, local, personal, and contextualized." People actively construct their realities. They do so in real time as they make sense of the new situations they encounter.13 Men and women are expected to learn from their experience, but what sense can they make of this bewildering array of new information?


Individuals use existing knowledge to interpret new experiences. Given the gap between today’s challenges and yesterday’s lessons, it is easy to see how people may misinterpret their experience, using an inappropriate or distorted lens. Also, it is difficult to change fundamental views even when they are outmoded. To do so requires digging below the surface, an analysis of taken-for-granted meanings that are assumed to be true. When learning from experience, adults benefit greatly if they are able to engage in this deeper level of critical reflection, but many factors make this type of learning difficult.

Jack Mezirow’s work on transformative learning provides a window into how to change fundamental views. His thinking grew out of a study in the 1970s of women who had returned to higher education after raising their families, and who came to reassess societal views of women that they had internalized and accepted uncritically.14 Mezirow’s theory revolves around the realization that adults filter all of their experience through "frames of reference that define their life world." These "structures of assumptions . . . selectively shape and delimit expecta tions, perceptions, cognition, and feelings . . . [and] set our ‘line of action."15 Frames of reference are broad, comprehensive "habits of mind" that show up in different situations as specific "points of view" that shape interpretation of a specific event. Habits of mind and points of view can be psychological, political, social, cultural, economic, or epistemological.

Uncovering strongly held assumptions, beliefs, and values that shape action may be difficult and painful, but also powerfully catalytic. People able to see how their actions are shaped by their views—leading often to unwanted results, often wholly contradictory to their intentions—learn from that experience. While it is not always easy for people to change their beliefs or actions, the first step is to recognize their existence. Mezirow believes that all adults can see and challenge their own assumptions, given the opportunity and appropriate educational assistance, but research on adult development suggests that many adults cannot easily step outside their worldview.


Developmental theory, while not without its critics, helps us understand that the challenge of educational systems, and of learning more generally, goes far deeper than simply providing information through new delivery systems. These theories suggest that as adults mature, they can develop the capacity to see the world more contextually and critically, though they do not always do so.

Transformation is not simply the adoption of techniques or styles of thinking. Developmental psychologists hold that adolescents and adults pass through stages characterized by a dominant way of understanding and relating to situations they encounter, no matter what the nature of the situation. Stages are deep organizing templates for experience, influencing what individuals actually take in through the senses and how they interpret the selected data. This dominant way of viewing the world shows up in a person’s thinking, the ways in which a situation is interpreted. Changing this perspective requires much more than altering a particular view.

Stages generally progress toward increasingly complex ways of thinking and acting in the world. Although theorists differ in significant ways, they generally agree on what greater capacity means. People become increasingly autonomous and independent over time. Although they are able to empathize with others and develop close relationships, they are also in a position to separate their feelings and opinions from those of others. They do not take on the views of others uncritically. They set goals for themselves that contribute to their self-defined progress, and they are able to see how their actions impact on the systems in which they work and live. They balance and choose among conflicting priorities and may, at some point, transcend local self-interest. They acknowledge their role in co-constructing the reality in which they find themselves.16

Robert Kegan, whose theory focuses on cognitive complexity, argues that the mental demands of modern life leave many adults feeling overwhelmed. Kegan, reviewing the literature on changing work relationships, concludes that people often find it difficult to act as they are expected to do. He contrasts the more "modern" mind-set that often underlies expectations of employees today with the mind-set they often bring:

1. To invent or own our work (rather than see it as, owned and created by the employer).

2. To be self-initiating, self-correcting, self-evaluating (rather than dependent on others to frame the problems, initiate adjustments, or determine whether things are going acceptably well).

3. To be guided by our own visions at work (rather than be without a vision or be captive of the authority’s agenda).

4. To take responsibility for what happens to us at work externally and internally (rather than see our present internal circumstances and future external possibilities as caused by someone else).

5. To be accomplished masters of our particular work roles, jobs, or careers (rather than have an apprenticing or imitating relation ship to what we do).

6. To conceive of the organization from the "outside in" as a whole; to see our relation to the whole; to see the relation of the parts to the whole (rather than see the rest of the organization and its parts only from the perspective of our own part, from the "inside out").17

A person able to think as described by these italicized phrases is more likely to handle effectively many of the complex challenges of modern life. Such an individual has a sufficient level of autonomy to think through goals, to see the system within which various forces interact, to be able to trace causes and effects, and to see the underlying assumptions that influence actions. Adults with higher-order capacity can take their subjective stands as an object of reflection, and thus avoid becoming enmeshed in a point of view that leaves them blind to alternative, more encompassing viewpoints. They ask deeper questions about the way they come to see things.

The knowledge era has raised the threshold of demand for complexity in understanding and relating to one’s world. Adults are increasingly pushed to challenge their own thinking, to eschew order for invention, and to think differently about their own experiences. Teachers need to effect these changes in their own lives as adults, and need to prepare young people for the demands on learning that such changes require.


Empirical analyses of the new workplace are underway in order to glean clearer insights into the adult world that young people are likely to face.18 Given the rapid rate of change in so many facets of society, even with such analysis it may be difficult to envision fully the shape of organizations and social institutions in which young people will live and work. The analysis in this essay, however, suggests that many more adults experience organizations that have become flatter, networked, and decentralized. Technology will continue to bring people together across distances, enabling them to share information and create knowledge without ever seeing one another face-to-face. Employees today are being invited to take on more initiative at work, although there are still limits to the sharing of power. They are being asked to work more collaboratively across boundaries; and they are rewarded more, at least in principle, for their intelligent contributions than for their physical labor.

Today’s schools were designed to create good citizens in an industrial era dominated by physical capabilities and by bureaucratic, command-and-control organizations. Schools are now socializing young people for a workplace that no longer exists, a practice that society should vigorously question so that new forms of work and organization can more easily evolve. The challenge is great. Schools are highly developed systems that have been created over many years to support efficiency in the current way of doing things. Entrenched systems resist change; they mold individuals to habitual ways of doing things without their being consciously aware that this is happening. Individuals cannot act alone to change these systems without being ostracized. Reinventing schools demands that many stakeholders—teachers, administrators, parents, and children—rethink their mental models, acting in concert to redesign learning.

While certain goals can he attained by fine tuning, this is not the case in education; designs from the past will only recreate and reward outmoded thinking. One clear lesson from looking at today’s workplace is the need to enable young people to act independently and autonomously, yet with some awareness of how their actions can affect entire systems and have long-term, interactive consequences. To do this, young people need a safe laboratory, one that is sufficiently "messy," interactive, and evocative of real-world experience.

Real-world challenges should be brought into the classroom as the starting points for learning, around which course content can be integrated. Problem-based learning, for example, begins with a multidisciplinary, complex challenge. Instruction is designed around unpacking it.19 Working in teams to address the problem, students look for knowledge from many potentially useful fields for its solution. They are able more easily to see the relevance of knowledge, and may be more motivated to delve deeply into what might otherwise seem abstract. Members of the team may receive individualized coaching, as needed, and ought to be able to draw on interactive technology.20 Problem-based learning suggests alternate designs for curriculum, for progressing through school outside the graded movement of age-based cohorts.

Work-based learning, which has been somewhat accelerated in the United States by the School-to-Work Opportunities Act, involves some secondary-school students in real-world challenges through apprenticeships. So, too, do service learning opportunities through which young people become involved in volunteer community work. Such experiments today involve very small proportions of the school population. Parents fear that children who engage in this kind of learning will be disadvantaged when applying to college. Somewhat surprisingly, research has not yet demonstrated that students learn more through such experiments.21 Since schools are not designed to allow for and take advantage of learning from experience, teachers may not have the models and skills to enable them to draw out lessons learned or to evaluate outcomes. Colleges do not assess or reward the fruits of such knowledge. Questions such as these need to be addressed, given my observation that adults learn more effectively from their work.

Students might be given greater responsibility in setting their own learning goals, in making choices about how they reach them at earlier ages. They can be helped to think critically about those choices. Yet there is a limit to how much autonomy young people can assume if we believe studies on their cognitive and emotional development. Still, teachers can support students at their current levels of development and simultaneously challenge them so that they build the capacity to set and achieve their own specific goals.

It is easy to romanticize the workplace, which is often a limiting environment in which adults are unnecessarily constrained.22 If new forms of organization open up greater opportunities and possibilities for learning, workplaces are still governed, fundamentally, by power relationships and negotiated contracts that contribute to the owners’ bottom line. There are dangers and risks inherent in organizations where it is difficult to challenge people in power. That is why schools need to play a greater role in legitimizing criticism in helping young adults to examine the assumptions they recognize in their environment, in the way work is organized. By reason of their age and social status, young people are typically socialized into accepting the norms of their elders, thereby perpetuating and passing on accepted social rules for success. It may be difficult to question assumptions central to an emerging identity. But by paying attention to how one thinks and not merely what one is supposed to think, teachers can help students be more conscious of their assumptions and the consequences of their beliefs. Teachers can engage young people in a dialogue about work and society that may build healthy cognitive and emotional development, honing skills that foster critical thinking and transformative learning. This is the challenge for educators con fronting an exponentially more complex world.



How can teachers, who are also adult learners, be helped to effect all these changes? A centerpiece of reform recommendations is that teachers learn from their experience while solving specific problems. Such learning does not come naturally for many people. Teachers, and the institutions they serve, need to develop their capability in learning how to learn.23

Many educators are familiar with various forms of Action Research, in which teachers join together to conduct research on their practice.24 A parallel movement has mushroomed in nonschool settings. A common form that holds promise for the professional development of teachers is Action Learning, where people come together as peers to solve problems and, at the same time, to use the experience as a laboratory for learning.25 Reg Revans, often called the "father" of Action Learning, based his thinking on his own early professional development as a physicist. He noticed that his colleagues learned best when they collaboratively investigated difficult problems that stubbornly resisted solution. Because there were no easy answers, they asked questions to generate fresh insights into their formulation of the situation. When Revans took charge of management development in the coal mines during World War II, he translated these principles into a design for learning from experience.

Action Learning resembles Action Research, but its practitioners focus less on research than on achieving personal and organizational development. In both Action Learning and Action Research, individuals spend a good deal of time helping one another think in new ways about the problem at hand, identifying hunches, taking action to test them, continually seeking feedback and examining consequences, both intended and unintended. In Action Learning, however, members more consciously reflect on what and how they are learning about the problem, their work in the group, the system in which the problem is embedded, and about themselves as learners. Groups find that they learn best when they are composed not of experts but of individuals with diverse backgrounds whose naïveté allows them to think differently about the situation at hand.

There is no uniform way in which to engage in Action Learning but over time several patterns have developed.26 Two models are typically used in organizations in the United States. The first, closer to that proposed initially by Revans, involves a group of peers who come together over a period of time to think through and address their respective individual challenges. The second involves a group that works together as a team on a single common challenge that is often systemic in nature. To enhance development, an Action Learning challenge should not have a known solution or be easily solvable. Challenges are typically difficult issues over which reasonable people are likely to disagree.

The first model focuses more on individual learning; the second model is often used for team building and/or organizational change. The models differ in design, primarily because the project focuses either on individual or group challenges. In both models, people learn by paying conscious attention to what happens. Depth and degree of learning often vary with the skill of members and their ability to bring difficult issues to the surface. Learning is driven by the group’s agenda and timing. Individuals are helped to avoid giving advice and instead ask questions that uncover personal beliefs that influence action. They raise alternative viewpoints and identify implications that others might have difficulty in seeing.

Action Learning, like Action Research, can drive change in the system’s culture and practices, which is needed if school reform is to have any chance of success. Often members of Action Learning groups find that problems reside in the system itself, which they need to learn how to change. This awareness can help lift the "blame and shame" that often accompany difficulties. As a group works on a problem, it becomes clear when policies, practices, structure, rewards, or metrics are blocking resolution. The group needs to learn how to bring these factors to light with the right people in the system. Members may well need to master the politics of change. Issues are typically deeply embedded in long-held, seldom-questioned beliefs and practices. Heated discussions often take place about norms or assumptions about people, practices, and institutions. Action Learning allows the conflicts within the system to surface, and it works best when it is supported from the top and recognized as a vehicle for change.

While teachers need to be competent in their subject, knowledge is something more than raw data or facts. The choices that teachers make about which facts to emphasize are fundamentally intertwined with the ways teachers think about these facts and with the ways in which they help their students to assemble and interpret them. Students commonly work within a knowledge domain that has first been circumscribed and interpreted for them by teachers. As teachers learn from their own experience in teaching, they gain insight into what students may need to know so that they can make best use of this information. This is where Action Learning can be especially relevant.

To model and enable the transformative learning necessary for the world that today’s students will encounter, teachers have to undergo such learning themselves. Teachers must step outside of the usual ways in which they think and act, which can be disquieting because it often requires letting go of familiar viewpoints acquired long ago. Professional development that supports transformative learning has to challenge teachers to examine deeply held beliefs and assumptions, while it simultaneously provides support so that they can manage feelings of incompetence and vulnerability.


The author is grateful to Toni Bailey, Constance Barsky, John Broughton, Gary Griffin, Joann Jacullo Noto, Jack Mezirow, Peter Neaman, Karen Watkins, and Ken Wilson for their reading and constructive comments on various versions of this essay.


1Ray Marshal! and Marc Tucker, Thinking for a Living: Education and the Weal of Nations (New York: Basic Books. 1992), xiii.

2Phil Candy, Self Direction for Lifelong Learning (San Francisco: Jossey- Bass, 1991), 26.

3Ibid., 28.

4See Nell Eurich, Corporate Classrooms: The Learning Business (Princeton, N.J.: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of leaching, 1985) and Nell Eurich, The learning Industry: Education for Adult Workers (Princeton, N.J.: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1990).

5See, for example, AFL-CIO Committee on the Evolution of Work, The New American Workplace: A Labor Perspective (Washington, D.C.: American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, 1994); Consortium for Worker Education, Education and Training for the Changing Workplace: A Practical Guide for Managers, Unionists and Teachers (New York: Consortium for Worker Education, Inc., 1995); L. Ferman et al., Joint Training Programs: A Union-Management Approach to Preparing Workers for the Future (Ithaca, N.Y.: ILR Press, 1991); and M. Roberts and R. Wozniak, Labor’s Key Role in Workplace Training: AFL-CIO Report on Training (Washington, D.C.: AFL-CIO Economic Research Department, 1994).

6For more details on the adult-education delivery system, see Sharon Merriam and Rosemary Caffarella, Learning in Adulthood (San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 1991).

7Peter Drucker, Post-Capitalist Society (New York: HarperBusiness, 1993); Alvin Toffler, Future Shock (New York: Random House, 1970).

8L. J. Bassi, G. Benson, and S. Cheney, The Top Ten Trends: Position Yourself for the Future (Alexandria, Va.: American Society for Training and Develop ment, 1996), 3.

9Ibid., 4.



12Shoshana Zuboff, In the Age of the Smart Machine: The Future of Work and Power (New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1988), 74—75.

13J. H. Shulman, "Toward a Pedagogy of Cases," in Case Methods in Teacher Education, ed. Judith Shulman:(New York: Teachers College Press, 1992), 1—30. Shulman, a teacher educator, draws on Jerome Bruner’s work to describe differences in knowing and learning.

14See Jack Mezirow, Transformative Dimensions of Adult Learning (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1991).

15Jack Mezirow, "Transformative Learning: Theory to Practice," in Transformative Learning in Action: Insights from Practice, New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, no. 74, ed. Patricia Cranton (San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 1997), 5.

16Frameworks alternatively emphasize moral development, ego development, or intellectual development. See, for example, Laurence Kohlberg, Collected Papers on Moral Development and Moral Education (Cambridge, Mass.: Center for Moral Education, 1976); Jane Loevinger, Ego Development (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1976); and William Perry, Forms of Intellectual and Ethical Development in the College Years (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1970).

17Robert Kegan, In Over Our Heads: The Mental Demands of Modern life (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1994), 152—I 53: italics in the original.

18See for example, Thomas Bailey, Changes in the Nature and Structure of Work; Implications for Skill Requirements and Skill Formation, technical paper no. 9 (New York: National Center on Education and Employment, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1989); Annette Berhardt et al., "Work and Opportunity in the Post-Industrial Labor Market," IIE Brief (19) (1998); Jeremy Rifkin, The End of Work: The Decline of the Global Labor Force and the Dawn of the Post-Market Era (New York: A Jeremy P. Tarcher and Putnam Book, 1995); U.S. Department of Labor Studies, What Work Requires of Schools: A SCANS Report for America 2000 (Washington, D.C.:U.S. Government Printing Office, 1991).

19Problem-based learning has been pioneered by the medical schools at Case Western Reserve University in the 1950s and McMaster University in Canada in the 1960s. See David Boud and Graham Feletti, eds., The Challenge of Problem-Based Learning (London: Kogan Page Limited, 1985).

20Goal-based scenarios build people’s experience in real-life situations into simulated computer-learning tools. See Roger C. Schank, Tell Me a Story: A New Look at Real and Artificial Memory (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1 990); and Roger Schank, Virtual Learning: A Revolutionary Approach to Building a Highly Skilled Work force (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1997).

21For a review of research, see David Stern, "The Continuing Promise of Work-Based Learning," CenterFocus (18) (November 1997). See also Thomas Bailey and Donna Merritt, "School-to-Work for the College Bound," IEE Brief (15) (May 1997).

22See, for example, Larry Hirschhorn, The Workplace Within: Psychodynamics of Organizational Life (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1990); and Michael Welton, Toward Development Work: The Workplace as a Learning Environment (Geelong, Victoria: Deakin University Press, 1991).

23Some restructuring projects incorporate support for the deep learning that teachers undertake when they learn from real-life challenges. See Ann Lieberman, ed., The Work of Restructuring Schools: Building from the Ground Up (New York: Teachers College Press, 1995). Professional development schools, for example, have created seminars that prepare teachers to facilitate change, and they provide technical support.

24These approaches, which include Action Research, Action Science, Action Learning, Collaborative Inquiry, and Action Inquiry, are discussed in Ann Brooks and Karen E. Watkins, eds., The Emerging Power of Action Inquiry Technologies: New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, no. 63 (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1 994) and in a special forthcoming issue of Management Learning being guest edited by Joseph Raelin. On Action Research, see Herbert Alrichter, Peter Posch, and Bridget Somekh, Teachers investigate Their Work: An Introduction to the Methods of Action Research (London and New York: Routledge, 1993); Peter Holly, "Action Research: The Missing Link in the Creation of Schools as Centers of Inquiry," in Staff Development for Education in the 90s: New Demands, New Realities, New Perspectives, 2d ed., ed. Ann Lieberman and Lvnne Miller (New York: Teachers College, 1991 ), 133-157 and Donald Schon ed., The Reflective Turn: Case Studies in and on Educational Practice (New York Teachers College Press. 1991).

25For more on Action Learning, see, for example, Alan Mumford, ed., Action Learning at Work (Aldershot, U.K.: Gower, 1997); Mike Pedler, ed., Action Learning in Practice, 3d ed.(Aldershot, U.K.: Gower, 1997); Reg Revans, The Origins and Growth of Action Learning (Bickly, Kent: Chartwell-Bratt,1982); and Krystyna Weinstein, Action Learning: A Journey in Discovery and Development (London: HarperCollins Publishers, 1995).

26Judy O’Neil and I review these different models in "The Many Faces of Action Learning," Management Learning (forthcoming). A highly popular model in the United States was launched by General Electric; see David L. Dotlich and James L. Noel, Action Learning: How the World’s Top Companies Are Re Creating their Leaders and Themselves (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1998).

27Linda Darling-Hammond, "Policy for Restructuring," in The Work of Restructuring Schools, ed. Lieberman, 171.