THINK LIKE A (WHOLE) LAWYER
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an anomaly. As adults we are able to evaluate and critique these frames
of reference. Transformative learning theory explores the process of trans-
forming frames of reference.
The adults around us hooked our attention and put information into our
minds through repetition. That is the way we learned everything we know.
Our attention enabled us to learn a whole dream. We learned to behave in
society; what to believe and what not to believe; what is acceptable; what
is good and what is bad; what is beautiful and what is ugly; what is right
and what is wrong. It was all there already — all that knowledge, all those
rules and concepts about how to behave in the world
.
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According to Mezirow, the frame of reference is composed of two dimen-
sions: habits of mind and points of view. Habits of mind are broad, ab-
stract, orienting, habitual ways of thinking, feeling, and acting — influenced
by assumptions that constitute a set of codes. Thinking like a lawyer, for
example, is considered a habit of mind. Habits of mind get expressed in
particular points of view. For instance, a lawyer may have a point of view
that working 50 hours a week is necessary for being a good lawyer.
Points of view are subject to change much more readily than are habits
of mind. In fact, points of view change as we reflect on either the content
or process by which we solve problems and identify the need to modify as-
sumptions. Additionally, we can explore the points of view of people much
more readily than our own, and we may even try those other points of view
out as our own, making modifications as we deem necessary.
Transformative learning theory recognizes that frames of reference are
not static, but rather can change with deep reflection. It focuses on the
transformation of habits of mind and points of view, and on the process of
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