A Qualitative Inquiry into Students’ Transformative Learning Experiences in Old Havana’s Escuela Taller

  •  Elizabeth A. Gilblom    
  •  Jonathan E. Messemer    


This qualitative study employs transformative learning theory to investigate the learning experiences of 18 current students and graduates of Escuela Taller ‘Gaspar de Melchor de Jovellanos’ (ET) in Old Havana, Cuba. ET is a tuition-free, skilled-trades program that trains adult learners with limited economic resources and opportunities to conserve and restore cultural heritage, including historic structures, artwork and ironwork. The purpose of this study was to determine if and how participants transformed as a result of attending ET. Participants experienced professional and personal transformations that they attributed to learning a trade, learning how to collaborate, rediscovering their Cuban heritage, and participating in the restoration of Old Havana. The findings also underscore the significance of becoming cultural agents, who they define as individuals who experienced transformations from attending ET who support the transformations of others in their local communities by educating them about the significance and value of Cuban cultural heritage.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-5250
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-5269
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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Google-based Impact Factor (2021): 1.93

h-index (July 2022): 48

i10-index (July 2022): 317

h5-index (2017-2021): 31

h5-median (2017-2021): 38

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