Shelley Ann Chapman, Ph.D. is a 2007 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.

Dissertation Committee

  • Jon Wergin, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Laurien Alexandre, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Edward W. Taylor, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Ilene B. Harris, Ph.D., External Reader


transformative learning theory, deliberative curriculum theory, graduate professional education, theory building, higher education

Document Type


Publication Date



A hundred years ago, the problem with professional education was that it lacked a sound scientific foundation and opportunities for clinical practice. Throughout the past three decades, discussions on graduate professional education have focused on how to improve the theory/practice continuum, either through new formats or strategies, or by emphasizing one over the other. However, with the new century, new problems have emerged within the professional education arena. This dissertation has focused on two main problems in graduate professional education in the early 21st century: students are focusing too much on technical expertise and not enough on becoming transformed into authentic professionals who serve the public good; and educators are using technical expertise to plan for technical learning without intentionally planning for their students to transform into genuine professionals, or those who profess their expert knowledge for the public good. Both problems stem from deeply held assumptions that the rational, cause/effect linear approach is the best way to plan curriculum and the best way for students to learn. This dissertation demonstrates that both assumptions are flawed. This study proposes in a new theory, one which integrates the learning theory of Jack Mezirow with the deliberative curriculum theory of Joseph Schwab to break the technical/rational grip on curriculum work and professional education. Graduate professional education needs to be transformative, and in order for that to happen, curriculum planning must be done in a deliberative fashion. The new transformative-deliberative approach to curriculum planning can be implemented by using the Curriculum Caucus Guide, a heuristic developed to help educators use this new approach to curriculum work and to begin to effect needed change. The electronic version of the dissertation is accessible at the OhioLINK ETD center,