Public education in the United States operates following a bureaucratic model designed for the industrial era.  The monocultural design of this model perpetuates hegemony in that the dominant cultural group asserts its ideological and cultural norms over other groups. This permeates policy, finance, law, ethics, curriculum, instruction, and differing levels of rigor in course offerings. Institutionalized racism, sexism, heterosexism, classism, ableism, sizeism, ageism, and religious intolerance exist within it. The curricular inclusion of cultural pluralism and human rights education is resisted. These problems indicate a need to prepare educators to become competent and confident educational justice leaders. In this article, the results of our phenomenological study of 18 doctoral students from a private university in California, United States are presented. Transcribed interviews were analyzed using semi-structured questions based on Mezirow’s theory of transformative adult learning. Four emergent themes are described: (a) disequilibrium and critical reflection, (b) inclusive worldview and perspective shifts regarding self and others, (c) differences between transmissive and transformative learning, (d) and obstacles to transformative learning. The use of a problem-posing model for higher education may create the conditions for transformative learning that empower leaders to critically examine and challenge societal institutions that hinder social justice. FULL MANUSCRIPT AVAILABLE IN PDF (attached below) OR ONLINE AT:

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