Transformational learning in TA training and education in Romania

Cristina Petrescu (PTSTA-P, CTA-P, Psychologist)

Conference: Sunday, October 30th, 09.00 – 10.45

Education is undergoing social and societal evolution. We now live in a world of globalization, multicultural interaction, rapid changes, vast information and the internet era. Teachers have to live in a tension between doing the best they can for learners and fearing the outcomes (Napper & Newton, 2007; Newton, 2012). I think this affirmation is quite appropriate for teachers and trainers in Romania. Teachers, trainers and trainees deal with constant changes in learning approaches and they need to learn “how to deal with it”.

The first mention in TA about Romanian culture and education was made by Roger Day, who was impressed by institutionalized Romanian children and who moved to Romania together with his wife. In the same time 2 groups of TA training were established in Romania, one in Timisoara and the other in Bucharest. Twenty six years have already passed since the Revolution. It has been a difficult period and it seems that things got stuck. There was a period of economic crash and social storms. Many people migrated to other countries. Families were separated and the people who remained had to fight with poverty and old mentalities. In the midst of all of this, people were forced to encounter a new “problem”, the very fast evolution of technology and the internet era. In a few years, cellular phones, technology, and the internet era “exploded”. Traditional ways to educate children became outdated. The ones most receptive to all of these changes were children. In a few years, younger students became not understood by older students. This created a breech between generations. Teachers became tired of reforms that were instituted quickly and without efficiency. Many people became alienated, and they did not find the right places to live in safety. And they came more often to psychotherapy.

TA has been received by Romanian adults with enthusiasm and curiosity. The TA philosophy was similar to what they had always wished for their freedom. Unfortunately, the preparation for TA psychotherapy proved to be expensive, time consuming and with reduced efficacy. In this workshop I will present the evolution of the two training groups over the period of 16 years and I will propose an open discussion about how to deal with change using transformational learning in Romanian TA training.