This multi-article dissertation explores the experience of becoming a professor who effectively facilitates students' identity formation. While the growing body of literature on student transformation suggests that faculty must transform themselves to authentically invite change in others, little research has been done on helping professors become mentors who facilitate students' movement toward their potential for meaningful contribution. To address this gap, this dissertation suggests a framework to facilitate transformative faculty development based on a review of the literature on learning as a process of becoming (Article #1). The major components of this framework are (a) facilitating meaningful engagement in communities of practice, (b) inviting community members to take on new responsibilities, and (c) construing learning as a process of identity development. I also propose several interventions in each of these areas that may increase the likelihood that professors will engage in transformational learning practices. This dissertation also explores the identity development of faculty who invite transformation in their students through narrative case studies of professors' transformative learning experiences (Article #2). Through a series of semi-structured interviews with highly rated faculty at various career stages—one from the humanities, one from the social sciences, and one from the natural sciences—we examined six turning points our participants' identified as pivotal in becoming the kind of mentor who helps create transformative experiences for others. The findings of this study suggest that transformative faculty formation is a process of moral becoming that occurs as professors take purposive stands in their communities of practice. Cross-case themes also suggest that transformative learning is most effectively invited through relational activities that are meaningful, authentic, and altruistic.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Instructional Psychology and Technology



Date Submitted


Document Type





faculty development, transformative learning, identity development, hermeneutics, communities of practice, narrative research