Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies


College of Education

First Advisor

Peter Moyi


This dissertation examines the influence of a graduate school of education on adult learning to determine if transformative learning has taken place. This qualitative study analyzed the stories and experiences of six graduate students to determine if there had been transformative learning and if transformative learning had influenced leadership behaviors that promote social justice in schools. A steady demographic shift over the years has resulted in schools with a higher percentage of minority and poor students. Many of these students are in marginalized in schools. In these marginalized schools, social justice reforms are necessary to address the needs of all students. As the principals encountered issues of social justice through the graduate school’s courses, their awareness of social justice increased and their comfort level for discussing these issues was enhanced. The participants identified the professors’ influence, diversity of the students enrolled in the courses, and the need for self-reflection as key components to their adult learning. This study suggests the need for leadership preparation programs to examine their curriculums and pedagogy to maximize transformative learning and the ability to promote social justice.