Dr. Brittany Strickland, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminal Justice Coordinator at East Georgia State College in Swainsboro, will have a published article in The Pursuit Journal in September. The Pursuit Journal is peer-reviewed publication of the Criminal Justice Association of Georgia. Dr. Strickland’s article will be published in issue three of volume three.
Dr. Strickland currently teaches the Introduction to Criminal Justice, Criminology, Courts and Basic Criminal Procedure, Social Science Research, and psychology courses at EGSC. Her article bridges her love of teaching with her passion for the criminal justice system. Dr. Strickland is a homeschool enthusiast who practices transformative learning with her two sons, Trevor and Timothy Current.
In April 2017, within the context of teaching an introduction course in criminal justice at EGSC, Dr. Strickland had the privilege of leading a group of students who planned to become criminal justice professionals through a transformative learning experience. She gained permission from the Institutional Review Board to take her class to a prison to talk with prison guards and inmates. Prior to the excursion, she conducted a survey before and after the visit to gauge students’ beliefs and attitudes about prisons and inmates.
Transformative learning is a method of surfacing learners’ prior experiences and tacit views in the service of forming more relevant, realistic, and effective approaches to learning and to life (Mezirow & Taylor, 2011). According to the original theory, transformational learning has been used to enable autonomous thinking. The fundamental goal, while considering adult education, is that learners should be able to make their own interpretations instead of simply parroting others’ feelings, beliefs, judgments, and purposes.
“As a teacher, I aim to support learners in their development into independent thinkers who are able to negotiate their own purposes, meanings, and values instead of acting uncritically on others’ beliefs and thoughts,” said Dr. Strickland. “Thus, I should ensure that my learners develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential for transformative learning. The identified learning needs that are required in the workforce, without a doubt, acknowledge the significance of autonomous learning.”
Dr. Strickland said transformative learning activates learners to engage in the examination of their implicit beliefs, values, and understandings, ultimately, for the purpose of greater effectiveness in their interactions with the world in which they live. She would also like to thank Warden Chris Hill at the Bulloch County Correctional Facility where she completed her study.