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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - African Journal of Rural Development
Title Facilitating transformative learning for community development: Experiences from Zimbabwe
Volume 1
Issue 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Page numbers 255-270
URL http://afjrd.org/jos/index.php/afjrd/article/view/74/56
This paper asserts problematic frames of reference among community members and the breakdown in
community wide dialogue as key contributing factors towards the slow pace in rural development and
social change. The frames of reference are considered problematic partly because they influence community
members to view development programmes negatively. It is argued that transformative learning through
dialogue enhances sustainable social change. The praxis for facilitating community wide transformational
learning was explored using a mixed methods research methodology with the Mhakwe Comprehensive
Community Initiative in Zimbabwe as a case study. Qualitative data were collected from action research,
focus group discussions and key informant interviews. Quantitative data were collected using a structured
questionnaire following a multi stage stratified sampling procedure (n=65). Based on the findings, key
enablers for transformative learning include: addressing community polarity; creating communicative space;
refining Frames of Reference; and developing dialogue infrastructure. Transformative learning was found
to be enhanced through creating positive energy and leveraging indigenous knowledge. The study
concludes that development institutions need to embrace transformative learning as a strategy for sustainable
social change.

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