Katie Titus Larson., Ph.D., is a 2017 graduate of the PhD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University

Dr, Larson [center] with her Dissertation Committee Member, Dr. Booysen [left] and Committee Chair, Dr. Wergin [right]..

Dissertation Committee

  • Jon Wergin, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Lize A.E. Booysen, DBL., Committee Member
  • Carolyn Kenny, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Sharon Daloz Parks, Ph.D., External Reader

Document Type


Publication Date



This phenomenological, collaborative inquiry explored the depth of two adolescent girls’ lived experiences during their high school years and the degree to which their self-described transformative incidents aligned with transformative learning theory.Traditionally this theory has been reserved for adults, yet the current paradigm may have overlooked the capabilities of modern adolescents to not only experience, but to describe and interpret transformative learning in ways both similar to and unique from adults.My two 19-year-old co-researchers and I examined four years of their self-identified transformative incidents by breaking them into components, analyzing the language within, and seeking evidence of critical self-reflection throughout; and then compared the extent to which the incidents aligned with the frameworks of adult transformative learning theory.Findings indicate that the co-researchers did experience transformative learning as defined by several theorists and exhibited both adult-like capabilities of:critical self-reflection, rational discourse, and reflective action; and adolescent-like aspects of:the development of identity, self-authorship, and empathy.This study challenges current assumptions in the theory and adds to the holism of the field.This Dissertation is available in Open Access at AURA:Antioch University Repository and Archive, and OhioLink ETD Center,


Katie Titus Larson, Ph.D.

ORCID Scholar


Katie T. Larson is the author ofFreckles Felt Fine, a book that encourages emotional growth in children, and is also the founder of GrowthQuests, a coaching practice designed to guide and support personal development in adults. Her calling is to combine the joys of nature, stories, and play to promote holistic transformation.

A lifelong nature lover, Katie began her career in biology and holds a Masters in the Art of Teaching Science.After living with local families in the Mongolian steppe, Kenyan Maasai tribe, and the Borneo rainforest, she became passionate about cultural exchanges as forms of personal transformation and earned a PhD in Leadership and Change with a focus in Transformative Learning.Her dissertation focused on how adolescents experience transformative learning.She is an experienced international educator and consultant, published author, JourneyCircles™ Facilitator, TEDxSpeaker, and Transformative Creative Depth Coach.

When she is not creating natro-mythic curriculum, you can find her running barefoot on the beach with her dog, bravely navigating Hong Kong’s concrete jungles, or boarding an international flight to a new adventure with her husband.She dreams of one day opening a guest house of her own and naming it “The Laughing Gecko” after her favorite lizard Gilbert, whose calls sounded like booming laughter..

Links :

Freckles Felt Fine (2014) ISBN-13: 978-9881322005

TEDx Youth HKIS : Ted Talk

It's Time to Write Your Story: Self-Authorship Over Your Life

Dr. Larson's Consulting : Growthquests : Transformative Personal Coaching, Workshops