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Sheridan Pilon School of Business students in class

It is common knowledge that our education system needs an overhaul.

We need curriculum that matters to the world –  that translates ideas into action, and benefits both industry and society. Sheridan College is prepared to meet this challenge through a new approach to teaching called Transformational Learning.  It may well change education as we know it.

Transformational Learning is part of a pedagogical approach called experiential learning. This approach seeks to transform the learning experience by having students engage in collaborative, inquiry-based and experiential education, tackling complex issues identified in curriculum and mediated by an unfolding narrative, technology, peers, teachers, and industry partners. The key is transformation – changing the way we think about things.

“The key is transformation – changing the way we think about things” – Ginger Grant

An example: we know that the Canadian population is aging, and that our health care system is struggling to keep up with related demands. Business lingo calls this a ‘wicked problem’ – a problem that has no easy solution. Enter Transformational Learning. Five different classes of students were handed the problem of ‘how to start a conversation about death’.  Working with the Palliative Care Association in Ontario, students were given this challenge: start the conversation amongst themselves and then their families. Next, based on their experience, come up with potential solutions that could be given to the Palliative Care Association.  Ranging from how to change policy, to cost-benefit analysis for hospice, to reducing workplace stress for healthcare workers, to social media campaigns, the conversation has begun.

Transformational Learning brings challenging problems from industry and Canadian society into the classroom. It integrates design-driven innovation, pedagogy and technology in service to the co-creation of knowledge addressing complex and pressing issues.  Sheridan’s vision is to build the leaders of tomorrow. And now is a great time to start.


Pictured above: Sheridan Pilon School of Business students in class

Written by: Ginger Grant, Professor in the Pilon School of Business at Sheridan College.

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